A Chinese engineering team consisting of 109 peacekeepers departed Beijing Capital International Airport in a UN chartered plane to Sudan’s Darfur on Wednesday for a one-year peacekeeping mission.
The peacekeepers are part of a 225-member team, which is the 13th group to be sent to the Darfur region. The rest of the team is scheduled to depart on Dec. 27.
The team will take on a number of tasks, including building makeshift airports, roads, bridges and defense works.
China now has more than 2,000 peacekeepers serving in UN missions in nine regions, including South Sudan, the Darfur region of Sudan, Mali and Liberia.
Meantime, the UN Security Council passed a resolution backing a peacekeeping mission in South Sudan in 2014, after civil war broke out in the country in 2013, two years after it gained independence from Sudan.
In July, two Chinese peacekeepers, Li Lei and Yang Shupeng, died after their vehicle was struck by a shell when it was guarding a refugee camp near the UN compound in Juba.
The new troops began their 12-month deployment on Dec 4.
They are being transported to Juba in six separate groups with the fourth one, consisting of 120 troops, arriving on Thursday.
The new troops immediately began transition missions and training, ranging from logistics to city patrols.
With careful preparation and help from previous Chinese peacekeepers, the new peacekeepers are ready to undertake various missions independently, battalion commander Ding Hailong said.
UN peacekeeping troops are tasked with protecting civilians, UN staff and humanitarian workers, conducting patrols and providing security escorts. – Additional news by chinadaily.com.cn.
Source: Xinhua | Dec 21