KHARTOUM, Sudan, May 28 (UPI) -- The United Nations says a unit of police officers from Sierra Leone has deployed to the volatile Darfur region of Sudan to support peacekeeping operations.
The deployment came as a welcome announcement as the United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur, known as UNAMID, has been working to boost the numbers of troops and law enforcement personnel operating in the region to counter ongoing rebel threats.
Officials say 40 police officers from Sierra Leone arrived in Darfur to support UNAMID Wednesday and that an additional 22 arrived Thursday, the United Nations reported.
The newly deployed officers from Sierra Leone will be assigned to help protect civilians in the region from clashes between Sudanese government forces and rebel Janjaweed militiamen.
According to a news release, the six years of violence in Darfur has resulted in an "estimated 300,000 people (who) have been killed and another 2.7 million have been forced from their homes since fighting erupted."