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China to send 925 peacekeepers to Darfur and South Sudan

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Chinese peacekeepers of UNMISS, patrol outside the premises of the UN Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Juba on October 4, 2016. (Albert Gonzalez Farran/AFP Photo)
November 1, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - China on Tuesday said it will dispatch 925 peacekeepers to Sudan and South Sudan next December.

The Chinese blue berets will be deployed for a year as part of United Nations peacekeeping missions in Darfur and South Sudan.

An infantry battalion that includes 700 personnel will travel to South Sudan in mid December as the third group of Chinese peacekeepers to be deployed in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, according to the official Chinese news agency Xinhua in its Arabic edition.

In July, two United Nations peacekeepers from China died and five others were wounded after an attack in South Sudan, when their vehicle was hit by a shell while it was guarding a refugee camp near the UN compound in the South Sudanese capital Juba.

A Chinese military engineering unit that includes 225 personnel will travel to Darfur at the end of December. It will be the thirteen Chinese military contingent to join the United Nations –African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

The hybrid mission has been deployed in Darfur since December 2007 with a mandate to stem violence against civilians in the western Sudan’s region.

UNAMID is the world’s second largest international peacekeeping force with an annual budget of $1.35 billion and almost 20,000 troops.

Some 3,100 Chinese peacekeepers are serving in 10 regions around the world, including 2,400 in Africa as engineers, transport, police and medical units.

In September 2015, China pledged to build a a peacekeeping standby force of 8,000 troops, set up a permanent peacekeeping police squad, and provide military aid of US$100 million to the African Union.

(ST)

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