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Peacekeepers leave for UN mission in Liberia
By Jiang Zhuqing (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-12-22 01:02

The second batch of Chinese peacekeeping troop will depart today for the war-torn West African nation of Liberia to replace those sent last year.

The first batch of peacekeepers gathered at Beijing's Capital Airport before setting out.[Xinhua]   
The military peacekeepers will be responsible for the safe transportation of goods and other peacekeeping troops in the troubled West African country during their eight month tour of duty, reported China Central Television yesterday.

The deployment follows the dispatch two months ago of more than 125 riot police to strife-torn Haiti.

At the request of the UN and approved by the Chinese Government and Central Military Commission, China sent the first peacekeeping contingent to Liberia to conduct transportation tasks last year.

According to the General Logistics Department of the People's Liberation Army, before their departure, the soldiers received intensive training in shooting, field survival, land mine removal and first aid.

The move comes as another batch of police officers moved to training bases in Guangdong. This will be followed by three-months special training at the UN peacekeeping training centre in Langfang of North China's Hebei Province, said sources with the Guangdong Public Security Bureau.

This is the first time that all peacekeeping policemen, who specialize in riot control, have been selected from a single province of Guangdong.

Members of the contingent, who will arrive in the Caribbean island next April, will be asked to sit and pass exams held by the UN, according to sources with the Ministry of Public Security.

As a major participant in recent UN peacekeeping missions, China has sent hundreds of peacekeeping soldiers and policemen to several countries, including Haiti, Congo and Liberia.

Statistics show China has sent the largest number of peacekeeping forces among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

At least five Chinese peacekeepers have died during UN duty.


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