Chinese peacekeepers honored in South Sudan

JUBA, Oct. 5 — Chinese peacekeepers, serving the United Nations
in the South Sudanese capital of Juba, have been honored for their
exemplary service in the war-torn nation.

The third Chinese Peacekeeping Battalion with the UN Mission in South Sudan
(UNMISS), received their medals in a ceremony on Monday. It was double joy
for the Chinese peacekeepers who on Sunday celebrated China’s National
Day.Braving the scorching sun, the soldiers stood proudly in their
immaculately polished boots, white gloves and the classic blue berets with
the UN insignia in a parade as the UN Deputy Special Representative of the
Secretary-General, Moustapha Soumare, pinned the medals on them.

Soumare, according to UNMISS, said the UN mission recognized the
“dedication, commitment and professionalism” of the troops.He noted that 13
members of the contingent were women, highlighting the impact of female
officers in peacekeeping.”The role and contribution of female officers is
especially crucial in a place like South Sudan by making uniformed
personnel more accessible to the most vulnerable civilians,” said Soumare
during the ceremony which brought together personnel from different
military contingents, UN Police, civilians and dignitaries.

Soumare encouraged troop-contributing countries to further strengthen the
participation of women in uniform.Since the deployment of the battalion in
December 2016, the Chinese contingent has carried out missions including
patrolling at the Protection of Civilians (POC) site near the UN base, in
Juba and along dangerous and damaged roads to reach vulnerable people in
the remotest areas.Commanding Officer Ding Hailong expressed gratitude to
the UNMISS for their continued support in helping the Chinese Battalion,
also known as CHNBATT, fulfill their mandate. He commended the UN mission
for its consolidated efforts towards building durable peace in South Sudan.

Chinese Ambassador to South Sudan He Xiangdong said he was hopeful that the
assistance to the people of South Sudan by CHNBATT will contribute towards
a positive image of both UN peacekeepers and the Chinese army.For almost 30
years, China has contributed more than 30,000 UN peacekeepers to 24
different missions.During the ceremony, a minute’s silence was observed in
honor of peacekeepers who lost their lives in South Sudan as well as in
other peacekeeping missions around the world. – XINHUA