China sends 163 peacekeepers to South Sudan

Wednesday September 18 2019

The peacekeepers, consisting of a sapper team

The peacekeepers, consisting of a sapper team of 130 and a medical unit of 33, are the first group of a 331-strong battalion sent by China for the mission. Xinhua photo 

By Xinhua

A group of 163 Chinese peacekeepers on Tuesday left Beijing for South Sudan on a one-year mission.

The peacekeepers, consisting of a sapper team of 130 and a medical unit of 33, are the first group of a 331-strong battalion sent by China for the mission.

The sapper team will handle tasks including maintaining and upgrading supply routes, repairing runways at airports, building shelters and providing engineering support in mission areas.

The medical unit will be tasked with providing basic healthcare services, treating common and infectious diseases, performing operations and vaccinations and more.

The second group of the battalion is scheduled to depart from Beijing on September 25, 2019.
South Sudan split away from Sudan in 2011 after decades of war but plunged into its own conflict at the end of 2013.

Both sides agreed in September 2018 to end a civil war that killed scores of people and to form a national army. Implementation has so far been slow but, in a possible sign of progress, President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar met last week and agreed to form a transitional government by the middle of November.

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