30 January 2003

Congo-Kinshasa: Chinese Army Engineers for UN Mission

Nairobi — China is set to deploy 176 army engineers in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as part of the UN peacekeeping force.

The UN Mission in the DRC, known by its French acronym MONUC, said on Wednesday that the contingent represented the largest contribution by China to current UN peacekeeping operations. The engineers will be deployed in the towns of Kindu in Maniema Province and Bukavu in South Kivu.

MONUC said that as of December, China had 123 people serving in seven missions, including 69 civilian police in Timor-Leste, formerly East Timor. According to figures available on MONUC's website (http://www.monuc.org), China already has one staff member in MONUC and nine military observers in the DRC.

There are about 4,000 MONUC peacekeeping troops currently in the DRC, the biggest contributor being Uruguay, with 1,479 troops. Bolivia, Ghana, Senegal, Tunisia and South Africa are the other countries with more than 200 soldiers each in MONUC.

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