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Russian Air Force to conduct regular rotation of UNMIS air group

RIA Novosti

21/07/2008 14:40 MOSCOW, July 21 (RIA Novosti) - A regular rotation of the Russian aviation group of the UN Mission in Sudan will be held on August 4-9, a Russian Air Force spokesman said on Monday.

"Military transport and eighth aviation division aircraft will transport the aviation group personnel and its cargo to Sudan," the spokesman said.

The first unit of Russian peacekeepers arrived in Sudan in April 2006. The Russian aviation group in Sudan currently comprises 120 personnel and four Mi-8 helicopters reequipped to UN and international standards.

The group provides transport for UN military observers in Sudan, as well as transporting and accompanying cargoes. It also carries out rescue operations.

The Russian peacekeepers are expected to stay in Sudan for 5-6 years.

Since 2003, Chad and Sudan have accused each other of inciting conflict on their common border, especially in the west Sudanese region of Darfur.

According to international estimates, over 200,000 people have been killed and around 2.5 million displaced in the ongoing conflict.

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