Saturday, December 11, 2004

Britain to send 143 vehicles for AU force in Darfur

Reports out yesterday confirm the British government said yesterday it was airlifting 143 vehicles to Darfur, to help African Union troops monitor a cease-fire in the remote western region of Sudan.

British International Development Secretary Hilary Benn said he expected the vehicles - 131 four-wheel drive sports utility vehicles and 12 three-ton trucks - to arrive by mid-December.

"These vehicles will make the AU mission more effective, enabling the observers and troops to carry out more proactive monitoring, and to respond to specific incidents more quickly," he said.

There are currently 833 AU soldiers in Darfur, a region the size of France, monitoring a cease-fire between government troops and two rebel groups which took up arms in February 2003.

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