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UN visiting group visits Chinese peacekeeping troops

By Xu Menglin, Li Lu and Zhao Bo (China Military Online)

08:54, April 12, 2013

The United Nations battlefield engineering visiting group composed of three officials from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations of the UN and the International Peace Research Institute visited the 10th Chinese peacekeeping engineer detachment to the Republic of South Sudan and carried out field research of the role orientation, tasks and engineering capacity requirements of the engineer detachment in peacekeeping operations on the afternoon of April 9, 2013, local time.

The visit is aimed at providing countries performing peacekeeping missions with analyses and suggestions on overcoming difficulties and challenges as well as making full use of capabilities and professional advantages of engineer detachments.

During the visit, Huo Hongkai, leader of the 10th Chinese peacekeeping engineer detachment to South Sudan, briefed the visiting group on the basic information of the detachment and the main tasks the detachment has completed since it was stationed in the mission area, and expressed his opinions on such issues as the role orientation of the engineer detachment.

In the following discussion, both sides exchanged their views on such issues as whether differences exist between peacekeeping equipment allocation and capabilities for performing tasks, change of concept from peacekeeping to peace-building, cooperation with related international organizations and solutions to engineering construction problems in rainy season.

In order to gain first-hand information, the visiting group visited the projects constructed by the Chinese peacekeepers, such as the bus station and urban main roads, and commended the Chinese peacekeeping engineer detachment for its outstanding role in conducting the peace-building mission.

The visiting group also made a special visit to the "Welfare Farm" jointly developed by the Chinese peacekeeping engineer detachment and the Wau Base of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), and fully affirmed and appreciated the Chinese peacekeepers' practice of imparting planting techniques to local people to improve their living skills through the farm.

Heythrop, leader of the visiting group and policy coordinator of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations of the UN, expressed at the end of the visit that the outstanding contributions made by the Chinese peacekeeping engineer detachment to the peace-building cause of South Sudan are obvious to all and hoped that the visit would help to publicize the Chinese peacekeepers' peace-building experience to more places.

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