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China to send security force for peacekeeping mission in Mali


09:14, June 28, 2013

BEIJING, June 27 (Xinhua) -- China will send peacekeepers to Mali and it is the first time that China's armed forces dispatch security forces for peacekeeping mission, a Ministry of National Defense official said on Thursday.

At the request of the UN, the Chinese government will dispatch nearly 400 servicemen to join the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), including engineering, medical and guard teams, Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said at a monthly press briefing.

Yang said there is no so-called combat forces in UN peacekeeping forces, responding to a reporter's question.

The main purpose of the UN peacekeeping forces is to help relevant countries to restore and maintain peace, prevent wars and monitor ceasefires, Yang said, noting that peacekeeping personnel should not be directly involved in military conflicts in host countries.

"The Chinese security force is actually a guard team that will mainly be responsible for the security of the MINUSMA headquarters and the living areas of peacekeeping forces," he said.

The Chinese peacekeepers will abide by UN peacekeeping regulations and play a constructive role in safeguarding peace and stability in Mali and the region as a whole, Yang added.

Also on Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China has so far dispatched more than 20,000 military personnel, police and civil affairs officials for UN peacekeeping missions, which makes it the biggest contributor to peacekeeping missions among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

"A total of 1,645 military personnel and policemen are currently participating in nine missions," she said.

Last week, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised China's participation in UN peacekeeping efforts during a visit to a peacekeeping training base in Beijing.

"China will continue to actively participate in UN peacekeeping missions and make contributions toward promoting the UN peacekeeping drive and maintaining peace and security around the world," Hua noted.

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