Nation's peacekeepers empower Africa

By LUCIE MORANGI | China Daily | Updated: 2018-10-09 07:22
Chinese peacekeepers provide medical care to people in Juba, South Sudan. CHINA DAILY

Growing contribution to UN missions ensures stable development

Loud cheers fill the sweltering air in Juba, capital of South Sudan.

It is Aug 1, Army Day, when China celebrates the founding of the People's Liberation Army in 1927, and soldiers of the Chinese Peacekeeping Infantry Battalion are commemorating the event.

With colleagues cheering wildly on the sidelines, competitors in a relay race involving battalion members pass the baton, heedless of the scorching sun, and the support company eventually wins the day.

For more than a decade, China has been playing a bigger role in protecting global peace. This is the fourth group of infantry soldiers drawn from the 83rd Combined Corps of the PLA.

Under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, they are assigned to protect local civilians and UN personnel and humanitarian assistance staff members, patrol defense areas, secure the UN compound, enforce a weapon-free zone and escort humanitarian assistance to areas under their jurisdiction.

They also have safely evacuated UN personnel during emergencies. On average, 506 troops have been deployed daily, along with 73 vehicles and hundreds of weapons.

The 700-strong battalion, consisting of infantry and artillery personnel, scouts and engineers, arrived in four groups in November. It is nearing the end of its mission.

"We have fully fulfilled the mandate of UNMISS," said Colonel Chen Ximing, the battalion's commanding officer.

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