China will send about three hundred military engineers for a U.N. peacekeeping force to Sudan’s Darfur region. The arrangement would further the “Annan” peace plan, an effort to place U.N. forces alongside the African Union forces already in Darfur who have failed to stop the violence. The continued bloodshed in the ethnically-mixed region was initiated when rebel groups accused the government of neglect and took up arms in 2003. The violence has since killed approximately 200,000 people and displaced another 2.5 million.
China, a primary buyer of Sudan’s oil and a member of the U.N. Security Council, has faced criticism and pressure for its Sudan policies. Although China has resisted plans to send U.N. peacekeepers without
Sudan’s consent, in an effort to balance pressures over the region China has also used its influence to urge Sudan to accept peacekeepers. In April, an envoy was sent to inspect refugee camps there.
Some critics of China’s policies have urged a boycott of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
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Yahoo News – China confirms will send engineers to Darfur – 08 May 2007