South Sudan: China to send female peacekeepers

Chinese UN peacekeepers

China will send an infantry battalion of 700 peacekeepers to South Sudan, including a 13-soldier female squad, the Chinese army dispatching unit said on Friday.

It is the third batch of Chinese peacekeepers for South Sudan. They are expected to leave on Sunday, on United Nations charter flights to the mission area, replacing the second batch of Chinese peacekeepers.

The infantry battalion will be deployed in South Sudan’s capital city of Juba, protecting civilians, UN staff and humanitarian relief programs, with patrols, escorts and other missions.

The female infantry squad will specifically engage in humanitarian relief and protect the rights of women and children, said Ding Hailong, battalion commander.

The battalion is comprised of officers and soldiers from the 54th Group Army, including foot soldiers, armored units, artillery forces, signal troops and special warfare troops among others.

Ding Hailong said all peacekeepers have trained for three months and passed all related tests to enable them carry out peacekeeping missions.

Since April last year, China has deployed peacekeeping infantry battalions in South Sudan. In July this year, two Chinese peacekeeping soldiers were killed in fighting between South Sudan’s rival army factions in Juba.

 

Xinhua/Zainab Sa’id