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China to continue supporting peace in Africa through UN missions

Updated: 2016-07-29 11:03
By Lucie Morangi (chinadaily.com.cn)

China's steadfast commitment to promote peace and stability in Africa will continue despite paying a high price with the loss of its personnel during peacekeeping missions.

China to continue supporting peace in Africa through UN missions

Lt. Col Philip Chol Kander, Defense Attaché of South Sudan to Kenya said China is supporting peace in the country/ Lucie Morangi 

Speaking during the celebration of the 89th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, the defense attaché in the Chinese embassy in Kenya Qiu Yi said China stands ready to strengthen the continent's bid to silence the guns and promote development by providing funding and capacity building.

The country has lost 21 military and police personnel in UN peacekeeping operations. In May this year, Chinese troops in Mali suffered a terrorist attack that saw one soldier lose his life while seven were injured. Barely two months later, another infantry team based in South Sudan was hit by a rocket while protecting refugee camp. Two soldiers were killed.

"This shows that Chinese Armed Forces have made great contribution to and sacrifice for maintaining peace and stability in Africa. In order to support UN peace operations, President Xi Jinping announced at the UN Peacekeeping Summit in September 2015 that China will establish a standby force of 8,000 troops," said Qiu, adding that President Xi also announced free military aid worth $100 million to African Union to support the building of African Standby Forces and African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis.

Furthermore, Beijing will deploy helicopter squads, more engineering, transportation and medical personnel to take part in UN peacekeeping operations; train 2,000 peacekeepers from other countries and carry out 10 de-mining assistance programs in the next five years.

He was speaking to invited diplomats and government officials at the embassy grounds. The defense official said China will unswervingly pursue an independent foreign policy of peace and a national military policy that is defensive in nature.

Speaking on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary of Defense, Janet Mugo, the chief administration in the ministry, lauded China's unwavering support in the infrastructure sector that supports Kenya's ambitions to improve the country's road and rail network. "By 2030, it will become impossible to refer to any region of our country as remote," she said.

She however noted the blight of international terrorism in the Horn of Africa and urged the strengthening of Sino-Kenya defense relations to root out the vice.

"As a country, Kenya appreciates support by the Chinese government towards the war against Al Shabaab inside Somalia. This is a fight against global terrorism and I request for more support to enable the elimination of the terrorists," said Mugo.

Military cooperation in the areas of intelligence sharing, training through defense exchanges and provision of specialized equipment could enhance Kenya's capacity to address the problem of terrorism, said Mugo.

Also in attendance was Lieutenant Colonel Philip Chol Kander, Defense Attaché of South Sudan to Kenya, who said that China is taking its responsibility as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council seriously.

"China is very supportive. We have received excellent support from them in pursuing peace in South Sudan. We would like them to strengthen their support in the region and the continent," he said.

Since 1999, Chinese Armed Forces have dispatched 31,000 military personnel engaging in 24 UN Peacekeeping missions. There are 2,400 Chinese military troops undertaking UN Peacekeeping Missions in seven African operation areas including Mali and South Sudan.


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