The picture shows the on-going UN defense capacity evaluation near the Blue Line on the border between Lebanon and Israel on April 27, 2020. (mod.gov.cn/Photo by Sun Shuai)
By Sun Shuai
BEIRUT, May. 6 -- The 18th Chinese Construction Engineering Unit (CHINCEU) to Lebanon passed the 2020 defense capacity evaluation conducted by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) on April 30, local time. Moreover, all members of the unit passed the accreditation for the qualification of humanitarian landmine clearance.
Through the defense capacity evaluation, the UN can check the defense capacities of its peacekeeping forces and get the key references for the budget of the UNIFIL. This was the first time that the current batch of CHINCEU received the UNIFIL defense capacity evaluation since its deployment in Lebanon at the end of last May.
The evaluation group was comprised of staff officers from 10 departments of the UNIFIL, including combat, training, intelligence, communications, engineering, security, medical care, logistics, and firefighting.
They conducted a thorough evaluation of the CHINCEU in 295 items of 14 categories such as security planning and training, command control, infrastructure, explosive ordnance disposal, health care, and logistic support.
After three hours of strict inspection, the evaluation group spoke highly of the unit’s sophisticated weaponry and equipment, thorough documentation, and excellent professional skills.
Chinese minesweepers detect mines near the Lebanon-Israel “Blue Line” on April 27, 2020. (mod.gov.cn/Photo by Sun Shuai)
Before that, on April 27, at a joint examination organized by the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and the local de-mining unit in Lebanon, all of the 65 minesweepers and six de-mining medics in the unit obtained the qualification for participating in humanitarian mine clearance operations.
The examination was conducted in an area adjacent to the “Blue Line” on the border between Lebanon and Israel and involved more than 30 items in 15 subjects including landmine digging, destruction, minefield rescue, medevac, and unexploded ordnance (UXO) disposal. It thoroughly checked the comprehensive capacity of Chinese minesweepers in mine clearance operations.
The 18th CHINCEU was deployed at the end of May last year and gained the qualification for mine clearance operations in June. So far, it has completed mine clearance and sweeping missions assigned by the UNIFIL in five minefields and one suspected minefield, with a total area of 8,857 square meters, destroying 1,577 landmines.
Passing the accreditation for the qualification of humanitarian mine clearance means that the unit’s main task in the UNIFIL would shift from operational mine clearance to humanitarian mine clearance, thus benefiting local Lebanese people more greatly.
A peacekeeper demonstrates the usage of mine detectors in landmine clearance operations. (mod.gov.cn/Photo by Sun Shuai)