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China refutes criticism of peacekeeping troops in South Sudan

(People's Daily Online)    15:43, October 11, 2016
China refutes criticism of peacekeeping troops in South Sudan
Yang Yujun at the press conference.

China has refuted the criticism of a U.S. NGO, which accused the Chinese UN peacekeeping troops of abandoning their posts during a conflict. China has called the claims "groundless and malicious hype."

According to various foreign media outlets, a report by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Civilians in Conflict criticized Chinese peacekeeping troops in South Sudan for their lack of action during conflicts in the country’s capital Juba in July.

At a press conference, Yang Yujun, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Defense, said that the Chinese infantry battalion undertook the task of defending the headquarters of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), as well as a refugee camp nearby. On July 10, conflicts in Juba escalated, and a Chinese armored vehicle was hit by rocket-propelled grenades. Throughout the conflict, Chinese soldiers stuck to their posts. Soldiers Li Lei and Yang Shupeng died in the attack, and five others were injured. Even as the attack unfolded, Chinese soldiers continued to execute the tasks assigned to them by UNMISS.

On July 11, intense fighting broke out near the UN base, with both sides using heavy weaponry including helicopters, tanks and armored vehicles. Some militants penetrated the refugee camp, posing a threat to the safety of the refugees. To protect said refugees, the Chinese battalion dispatched soldiers to search for the militants in the camp. Escaping from some stray bullets in the camp, several panicked refugees broke through a barrier to enter the UN base. In accordance with UNMISS orders, Chinese soldiers cooperated with UN police and Nepalese peacekeepers to control the situation.

Yang added that the UN is carrying out an investigation into the performance of the peacekeeping force in South Sudan. Before the results are released, any groundless criticism of the peacekeeping mission and peacekeepers themselves is irresponsible. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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