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163 Chinese peacekeepers sent for South Sudan mission

September 17, 2019 (BEIJING/JUBA) - 163 peacekeepers from China left Beijing on Tuesday for war-hit South Sudan on a one year mission.

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Chinese peacekeepers patrol around the perimeter of UN House in Juba on 27 January 2016 (UNMISS Photo)

A sapper team of 130 and a medical unit of 33 are reportedly the first group of 331-strong battalion sent by the Asian nation.

The group of Chinese peacekeepers will reportedly handle tasks like maintaining and upgrading supply routes, repair runways at airports, building shelters and providing engineering support in mission areas.

In addition, the medical unit is expected to provide basic healthcare services such as treating common and infectious other diseases.

Last month, Chinese peacekeepers serving in South Sudan were given United Nations Medal of Peace for their service in the region.

331 members of the 9th Chinese peacekeeping medical and engineer detachment in South Sudan received their honors in Wau city, which is located in the northwestern part of the young nation.

Over the years, however, China has stood with the East African country as it struggles to rise from the ashes of a damaging civil war.

In March this year, for instance, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) reached an agreement with South Sudan government to construct at least 26 hospitals across the country.

South Sudan descended into a civil war in mid-December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy-turned rebel leader Riek Machar of an attempted coup.

In September 2018, the rival factions involved in the conflict signed a peace deal to end the conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced over 2 million people in the country.

(ST)