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China sends follow-up engineering troop to Darfur
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The 172-member follow-up troop of a Chinese engineering unit left Zhengzhou City in central China Wednesday night for Darfur to join the hybrid peacekeeping troops of the United Nations and the African Union, marking the completion of deploying the whole Chinese engineering unit to Darfur.

The follow-up troop, including 27 officers and 145 soldiers, will shoulder tasks such as building roads and bridges, assistance guarantee and digging wells, according to Xu Hanfa, deputy head of the engineering unit.

He said the follow-up troop has undergone a lot of training in accordance with the security situation, natural environment and the unit's tasks in Darfur, such as the exercises of defense and rescue, field exercises in dry and hot weather, and lessons of learning the UN Charter and other laws and English and Arabic terms for peacekeeping.

"As a part of the UN peacekeeping troop, we will fulfil all the tasks with high quality, to make our contribution to the peace, stability and development in Darfur," said Xu.

China was committed in April 2007 to sending a 315-man multi-functional engineering unit to Darfur at the invitation of the United Nations, which was the first batch of UN-AU peacekeepers in place in Darfur.

In August 2007, China finished the organization of the 315-men engineering unit, mainly from Jinan and Beijing military commands, fitted out with 225 vehicles and other large equipment.

In November 2007, China sent a 135-men advance troop to Darfur, being the first batch of UN-AU peacekeepers in place in Darfur.

So far, the advance troop has leveled up more than 70,000 square meters of land, dug and transported more than 9,300 cubic meters of earth and stone and built a new camp for themselves.

The troop is also involved in building a heliport in Nyala, South Darfur's capital, building the super camp for the AU-UN troops, and surveying water resources.

The Chinese troop's work won praise from UN officials. Joint AU-UN Special Representative Rodolphe Adada, after making three inspection trips to the troop, said the Chinese peacekeepers have created a miracle in a short period.

(Xinhua News Agency July 17, 2008)

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