Bonn Parliament OKs Somalia Troops

Reuters

The German Parliament on Friday approved a controversial troop deployment to Somalia, as demanded by the country's Supreme Court.

The vote, carried by Chancellor Helmut Kohl's parliamentary majority, cleared the final hurdle for Germany's biggest deployment of ground forces abroad since World War II.

It also represented a step toward Kohl's plans for the united country to play a wider military role in the world.

Opposition Social Democrats voted against the plan despite a plea from Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel to change their stance and help the government amend constitutional limits on the military.

A vanguard of about 300 troops is already in Somalia and 1,400 more are due by mid-August. Bonn has barred them from fighting other than in self-defense and limited their task to supporting other U.N. forces and doing humanitarian work.

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