UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: June 9th, 301 AP.
Utanian Peacekeeping Force at highest number
With the arrival of yet another 5,400 troops bound in Dignania, President
Okarvits confirmed today that "this would be the maximum commitment by Utania".
It was reported that an additional Brigade of Utanian Army personnel had
arrived in Dignania this week, numbering 5,400 soldiers, and that they were not
replacements for soldiers returning home. An additional 4,900 soldiers will be
sent later in June to replace the last of the original 10,400 soldiers that
arrived in Dignania in November last year.
As these troops have arrived in the divided but at-peace nation, the Utanian
Army commitment is at 22,300 troops and 32 armoured vehicles. President
Okarvits confirmed in a morning radio interview that "this was the limit", and
no more Utanian troops would go to Dignania without troops also coming home.
Asked whether he felt this number of peacekeepers was enough to maintain the
peace in Dignania, the President said that the UPF was not there to "enforce"
peace, but to maintain it, to monitor and report breaches to the truce
committee, and to repel "minor breaches".
"If an army of seventy thousand suddenly comes pouring down the hills, our
troops have orders to simply evacuate", the President added.
That commitment wasn't enough for the opposition who, though not electio-
neering, called on the President to "expose the gaping hole in the country's
finances caused by our commitment to Dignania".
Opposition leader Thomas Kemp said he had it "on good authority" that the
commitment had cost in excess of Û5 billion to date. He demanded that the
President call the troops home and allow "the larger and wealthier nations of
this planet" to do the "dirty work" of peacekeeping.
©UPA, 301 AP.
©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)