German Defense Minister Peter Struck said he was prepared to send soldiers to the Darfur region of Sudan if the African Union fails in its current peace mission. "Germany need not be at the head when at sometime the issue of expanding the UN deployment arises. But we shouldn't keep out of it," the Social Democrat said in an interview with the Berliner Zeitung daily. He said the United Nations should get involved if the African Union isn't able to deal with the problem alone. The UN estimates that more than 70,000 people have been killed in the past two years of conflict between pro-government Arab militias and black African rebels. The Bundestag, Germany's lower house of parliament, is set to vote on Friday whether to send 50 unarmed observers on a UN mission to southern Sudan.