THE German parliament has extended the mandates of two small military missions to Sudan and South Sudan by large majorities.
Only the minority hard-left Die Linke (The Left) party voted against the deployments to UNAMID, a joint AU and UN peacekeeping mission in Sudan’s Darfur province and to UNMISS, a UN mission to South Sudan.
UNAMID currently has four German soldiers deployed to it.
The mandate for the maximum number was cut from 50 to 20 and it will last only to Dec. 31 as the UN decides on a follow-up mission.
The UNMISS mission was extended by a full year to the end of March 2021.
There are currently 12 German soldiers deployed to it. The maximum of 50 was retained.
The missions are aimed at protecting the civilian populations in the two countries, following South Sudan’s independence from Sudan in 2011 and long-running conflict in Darfur reaching back to the end of the last century.
Parliamentarians backing the extensions acknowledged the missions’ lack of success, citing political corruption in the two countries and the use of hunger as a weapon. But they said establishing stability had priority.
Die Linke opposed the deployments on grounds of principle.
“There will be no peace or freedom through military means. Peace and freedom can only grow from inside,” Christina Buchholz said for the party.