Contribution of the Netherlands to UN Mission in Sudan Extended

The Netherlands will extend its participation in the current peace mission of the United Nations in Sudan by a maximum of six months. The twelve military observers, fifteen police trainers – eleven of which are members of the Royal Military Constabulary and four of the civilian police – and some staff officers will remain in Sudan until mid-October this year at the latest.

The Cabinet has agreed to this on the recommendation of Minister of Foreign Affairs Rosenthal, Minister of Defence Hillen, Minister of Security and Justice Opstelten and State Secretary of Foreign Affairs Knapen.

The UN mission, UNMIS, was started in March 2005. The Netherlands has supported the mission since April 2006. The key task of UNMIS is to supervise adherence to the peace agreement between North and South Sudan. During the past few years UNMIS has made a valuable contribution to the stability in Sudan. In January the mission also provided logistic support for organizing the self-determination referendum in South Sudan.

The current mandate of UNMIS expires on 30 April 2011. A few weeks before that date, the Security Council of the UN will probably consent to an extension of this mandate until the end of the peace agreement between North and South Sudan on 9 July 2011. The Cabinet finds continued support of the international community to UNMIS necessary for peace and stability in Sudan, also in this final phase of the mission.