September 5, 2007 (JAKARTA) — Indonesia will deploy 140 civilian police to a joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur in December, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Wednesday.
The U.N. Security Council last month unanimously approved the 26,000-strong mission, which, if fully deployed, would be the world’s largest operation of its kind, to help end four years of rape and slaughter in the vast Sudanese desert region.
“They will help to maintain public order,” ministry spokesman Desra Percaya said.
The force is expected to be made up mostly of peacekeepers from Africa with backup from Asian troops.
Sudan had resisted a push for U.N. peacekeepers to replace the overwhelmed African Union force now in Darfur, where 200,000 people have died and 2.5 million have been displaced.
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, sent about 1,000 troops to a U.N. peacekeeping mission in Lebanon last year to enforce a cease-fire between Israel and the armed group Hezbollah.