China starts sending second batch of peackeeping infantry battalion to South Sudan 20412153

Defence & Security News - China
China starts sending second batch of peacekeeping infantry battalion to South Sudan
The first group of 110 peacekeepers of the 2nd batch of the Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion set off to South Sudan (Juba) from the Xinzheng Airport in central China's Henan province at about 20:00 on December 2, 2015.
China starts sending second batch of peackeeping infantry battalion to South Sudan 640 001Chinese peacekeepers parade ahead of their deployment to South Sudan in November, 2014
The 700-strong peacekeeping infantry battalion consists of soldiers of a brigade under the PLA’s 20th Group Army. Also, as a combined infantry battalion comprised of soldiers from infantry, armor, artillery, reconnaissance and communication, the battalion is able to carry out diversified military tasks according to different needs.

The peacekeeping infantry battalion will be deployed to South Sudan in five batches. After the first group arrives at the mission area, it will replace the previous battalion in implementing 12 tasks, including protecting the civilians and UN bodies and providing humanitarian aid. This is the second UN peacekeeping force assigned by the same brigade this year.

Founded in 2011, South Sudan fell into conflicts in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his sacked deputy Riek Machar of coup attempt. A peace deal was signed in August, seeking to end the clashes.

China sent its first peacekeeping infantry battalion to South Sudan in April this year.

The battalion, consisting of 700 peacekeepers, has been tasked with protecting civilians as well as UN personnel and facilities. They have also participated in humanitarian relief and street patrolling.

Their professionalism and hard work have won praise from UN officials and local residents.

"When we have disturbances or unrest in protection of the civilians site, they (Chinese peacekeepers) have shown very quick reaction that I appreciate very much," Ellen Loej, UN Special Representative of the Secretary General and head of the UN Mission in South Sudan, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Of the 700 members, there are 13 women soldiers. Loej said that these women, though small in number, have been working very hard side by side with their male colleagues. "We have been very happy and satisfied with the Chinese battalion," she said.

There is also a Chinese engineering company and medical team based in the country's northwestern city of Wau, numbering around 300.