As part of a draft UN resolution for the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan, Germany has expressed its willingness to send military personnel if the draft is passed by the UN Security Council.
Over a million people have been displaced by the violence in Darfur
Germany is ready to take part in an international mission in Sudan but it wants the UN Security Council to define a peacekeeping mandate first, a government spokesman said on Monday.
"Germany is fundamentally ready to participate on this basis," the spokesman, Thomas Steg, said at a routine government media conference.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has urged the Security Council to "assume its responsibility" for peace and security in Sudan's troubled Darfur region, and at the weekend appealed to the European Union and NATO to become involved. Annan has asked for a peacekeeping operation, involving more than 10,000 personnel, to be launched.
Ethnic rebels rose up in Darfur, a vast western area the size of France, in February 2003. The rebellion was put down by the Arab-led government with the help of Arab militias known as Janjaweed. Some 70,000 people there have died since, many from famine and disease.
Bundeswehr observers ready for Darfur
Germany's most widely-read newspaper, Bild, has quoted a defence ministry report as saying that Berlin is ready to provide personnel to act as observers in Sudan and to help run any military headquarters.
Bild said that the UN peace-keeping mission in Sudan will involve 10,000 soldiers from participating countries. Germany's role in the mission will be limited as it will send only military observers and staff officers for the headquarters, the paper quoted German military sources as saying
Germany's Bundestag lower house of parliament approved on December 3 a government plan to make some 200 soldiers available to the African Union to help resolve the crisis in Darfur.
Resolution hopes to bring peace and justice
The UN draft resolution for Sudan would require the troops to monitor a peace agreement between Sudan's government and rebels. It also calls for a travel ban and freeze on the assets of those responsible for the continuing violence in the western Darfur region.The resolution, if passed, would in addition penalize individuals responsible for the mass killings and sexual violence in Darfur.