Beijing re­buffs peace­keeper crit­i­cism

Al­le­ga­tions ‘ma­li­cious’ that Chi­nese group in S. Su­dan with­drew amid attack

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By ZHANG YUNBI in Beijing zhangyunbi@chi­nadaily.com.cn Xin­hua con­trib­uted to this story.

The Min­istry of Na­tional De­fense has dis­missed re­cent al­le­ga­tions tar­get­ing Chi­nese peace­keep­ers in South Su­dan, raised in a re­port by a US-based group, de­scrib­ing them as “sheer ma­li­cious hyp­ing”.

The Washington-based Cen­ter For Civil­ians in Con­flict said in a re­port pub­lished last week that Chi­nese peace­keep­ers with the United Na­tions Mis­sion in South Su­dan had with­drawn from a civil­ian pro­tec­tion zone in July af­ter com­ing un­der attack, Reuters re­ported.

Yang Yu­jun, the min­istry’s spokesman, said in a writ­ten re­ply is­sued early on Tues­day that the re­port’s al­le­ga­tions con­cern­ing Chi­nese peace­keep­ers was “not in ac­cor­dance with the facts at all and is sheer ma­li­cious hyp­ing”.

The United Na­tions is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the per­for­mance of its peace­keep­ing force in South Su­dan, Yang noted.

“Prior to the UN is­su­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion’s find­ings, any ground­less ac­cu­sa­tions against UN peace­keep­ers and per­son­nel is ir­re­spon­si­ble,” he said.

Af­ter the re­cent out­break of con­flict in South Su­dan, the Chi­nese peace­keep­ers had con­ducted mis­sions in and near the cap­i­tal Juba to en­sure the safety of UN peace­keep­ers and civil­ians, Yang noted.

Two Chi­nese sol­diers were killed and five oth­ers were injured on July 10 fol­low­ing the es­ca­la­tion of the con­flict, Yang added.

In an­other devel­op­ment, the Chi­nese mil­i­tary on Mon­day started ship­ping ma­te­ri­als for the de­ploy­ment of its first peace­keep­ing heli­copter unit, de­part­ing from Tian­jin Port in north­ern China.

The ma­te­ri­als will ar­rive at Port Su­dan in mid-Novem­ber be­fore ar­riv­ing in mid-Jan­uary at El Fasher, cap­i­tal of North Darfur State, Su­dan, Xin­hua re­ported.

The unit, con­sist­ing of 140 sol­diers and four he­li­copters, will be de­ployed for UN mis­sions in South Su­dan, in­clud­ing troop trans­porta­tion, res­cue and evac­u­a­tion op­er­a­tions and sup­ply­ing air lo­gis­tics.

Ac­cord­ing to the Peace­keep­ing Of­fice of the Min­istry of Na­tional De­fense, the unit has com­pleted train­ing and the re­fit­ting of heli­copter and ve­hi­cle equip­ment.

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