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China to send rest of engineering team to Darfur
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China will dispatch the remaining members of a team of peacekeeping engineers to Darfur next month, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told a regular press conference in Beijing on Thursday.

At the request of the United Nations and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, China decided to participate further in a hybrid force of the United Nations and the African Union, Liu said.

China has promised to send a 315-member engineering unit. So far, the first group of 143 engineers had already been dispatched to Darfur and was at work.

The remaining engineers had prepared to depart for Darfur, Liu said, noting that the team would be dispatched in mid-July according to the UN arrangements on material and equipment transportation.

China also agreed to temporarily relocate some Chinese engineers and equipment involved in the UN peacekeeping mission in south Sudan to Darfur, to help the Chinese engineering units in Darfur build camping grounds and roads, Liu noted.

To cope with water shortages faced by the deployment of the hybrid force, China was ready to send more personnel and equipment to Darfur to drill wells, Liu added.

He said China always paid close attention to the Darfur situation and supported the resolution of the Darfur issue in a political way, via the double-track strategy of peacekeeping actions and the political talks moving forward together in balance.

"We are ready to work with the international community to continue making our contribution to realizing peace, stability and development in Darfur at an early date," he noted.

(Xinhua News Agency June 27, 2008)

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