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Pakistani engineering force arrives to Darfur


December 21, 2008 (EL GENEINA) – The hybrid peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) received 85 members of the Pakistani Engineering Company, who will be based in El Geneina, West Darfur.

The advance party consisting of 72 personnel is already on the ground and engaged in the construction of the Pakistan level-III Hospital in Nyala, Sector South. The remaining 176 personnel are expected to arrive later this week.

The total strength of the company when fully deployed will be 335.

The Pakistan Engineering Unit is the third after the Chinese Engineering Company deployed in Nyala, Sector South and the Egyptian Company in Sector North.

The Pakistan contingent will work primarily on the completion of the Super camp in El Geneina, and will expand other UNAMID camps in Darfur, providing the infrastructure and facilities that will allow more peacekeepers to deploy.

The UNAMID, which take over from the African Union force the peacekeeping mission in Darfur since January of this year, was supposed to have 26,000 strong force including 19555 military personnel, 3772 police personnel, 19 formed police units comprising of up to 140 personnel each and 60 military observers.

The United Nations had initially hoped to get 80 percent of the troops on the ground by the end of 2008. Last October, following a string of holdups, it lowered that to 60 percent. However, figures released this week showed it would struggle to meet even that target.


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