, DAR ES SALAAM, May 13 – Tanzania will next month send its first ever army battalion to Darfur to join the United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force, the army said Tuesday.
The 875 soldiers will serve in the peacekeeping force, also known as UNAMID, for at least one year after which the contingent could be doubled, army chief General Abdullrahman Shimbo said.
Britain and the United Stated have provided the troops with equipment worth 8.2 million dollars.
Sudan’s western province of Darfur has been ravaged by a civil war that erupted some six years ago and has killed some 300,000 people and uprooted around two million others according to UN figures.
In December 2007, the joint UN-AU force took over from a woefully undermanned and under-equipped AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur. So far only 12,000 of the envisaged 26,000-strong force are on the ground.