By Li Guigang, Zhu Xiaonan and Liu Wenjun
ZHENGZHOU, CHINA, Nov. 8 (ChinaMil) -- Peacekeepers of the 5th Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion to South Sudan (Juba) attended an oath-taking rally in China on Wednesday, marking the establishment of the battalion and its expedition to South Sudan. At the oath-taking ceremony, 700 peacekeepers vowed solemnly to fulfill their duties.
The 700 peacekeepers mainly come from a brigade of the PLA 83rd Group Army. Among them, 129 have peacekeeping experience, and 110 have participated in the previous peacekeeping infantry battalions. It also includes a 13-member female infantry squad.
In addition to performing patrol and humanitarian rescue tasks with male peacekeepers, the female peacekeepers will also carry out cultural exchanges, and help protect women’s and children’s rights and interests.
Unlike previous infantry battalions, the 5th Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion to South Sudan will no longer be affiliated to the Sector South of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS). Instead, it will serve under the UNMISS Regional Protection Force.
The number of UN missions to the Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion has increased from 11 to 14, and the tasks are more important, complex and dangerous than ever before. The battalion will be deployed to South Sudan’s capital Juba to perform such missions as protection of local civilians, UN personnel and humanitarian assistance staff, as well as patrol, guard and armed escort duties.
The 5th Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion to South Sudan is scheduled to depart from Zhengzhou City on November 12, flying in four batches on UN charter flights to the mission area in Juba for their one-year peacekeeping mission.