Sweden sends officers to Darfur

Sweden will support the African Union mission to Sudan by offering military experts and officers as part of a European Union effort in the wartorn region of Darfur, the defence ministry said on Wednesday.

“The government has today decided that the armed forces can make military experts available to the African Union as part of the European Union’s effort to support Sudan,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

Sweden will also make “staff officers available to the European Union for the coordination of the support to the African Mission in Sudan (AMIS),” it said.

The Swedish contribution will consist of a maximum of eight experts and officers for a period of six months.

The African Union last summer deployed peacekeepers in Darfur, which has since February 2003 been ravaged by a civil war pitting two rebel groups against Sudan’s army backed by Arab militias.

Between 180,000 and 300,000 people have been killed, according to broad estimates, and more than two million others have been displaced.

On April 28, the AU’s peace and security council agreed to extend the mission to from today’s approximately 3,000 to 7,700 people by the end of September, with the possibility of a further expansion to 12,000 in the future.

The EU agreed on May 26 to support the AU mission.