The United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) spokesperson praises the efforts of the Chinese peacekeepers in Sudan's Darfur region. (Xinhua photo)
KHARTOUM, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations - African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) spokesperson on Wednesday praised the efforts of the Chinese peacekeepers in Sudan's Darfur region in a interview with Xinhua.
Ashraf Eissa, the spokesperson, laud the Chinese Peacekeeping Engineering Unit and its role in establishing the most recent base of the mission at Golo area in Sudan's Central Darfur State.
"In March 2018, the Chinese engineering unit assumed the task of establishing UNAMID's temporary operating base in Golo, an area with volcanic rocks," said Eissa.
He said the area is dangerous in Darfur, with hostilities between the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM)/ Abdul-Wahid Mohamed Nur faction and the Sudanese army.
"Despite these challenges, the Chinese engineering unit has managed to complete the construction of the base, with high efficiency in less than two months," Eissa said.
He said the unit has paved the road linking the base to Golo town in Central Darfur, established the base's fence and 11 watchtowers, and installed all water and electricity networks together with a total of 4.85 km of communication wires.
He explained that the base, established by the Chinese engineering unit, is composed of residential buildings, offices and other facilities, including an underground shelter.
Eissa further reiterated that the Chinese engineering unit, in establishing the Golo base, has applied the international standards observed in international peacekeeping missions, saying "what has been done at Golo base reflects the efficiency and capability of the Chinese engineering unit together with its great role and important services provided to UNAMID."
He added that "since UNAMID establishment in early 2008, the Chinese engineering unit has been providing important and vital services, whereas it contributed to the establishment of the mission's infrastructures, particularly construction of camps, protective fences and watchtowers."
In the meantime, the UNAMID spokesperson commended the Chinese Peacekeeping Helicopter Unit, which joined the mission in 2017 and is hailed as "the backbone of UNAMID operations."
The team, which serves 29 field sites of the mission, has implemented 778 flight hours and transported 4,995 peacekeepers and more than 20,000 tons of goods and various materials, said Eissa.
The Chinese helicopter unit comprises of 140 military personnel and four Mi-171 helicopters, and carries out tasks such as air patrol, transport of peacekeeping forces, evacuation of rescued personnel and air supplies.
In early 2008, the UNAMID was deployed in Darfur, a region which has been witnessing military clashes between the Sudanese army and the rebels since 2003, which according to UN statistics has left 300,000 dead and displaced around 2.5 million others.
The UNAMID is considered as the second biggest peacekeeping mission in the world, after the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
China has been actively involved in the UN peacekeeping operations for over 25 years.
There are now 2,622 Chinese peacekeepers putting their lives at risk in restive regions around the world, according to a UN report published in July 2016.