As UNAMID continues to move towards its goal of 97 per cent deployment by the end of this year, another infantry battalion has arrived in Darfur. The first batch of the advance party of the Ethiopian Infantry Battalion comprising 151 personnel arrived today and a further 151 will arrive tomorrow.
The main body of the battalion is expected to arrive in Darfur in September or October. When fully deployed, they will number some 800 soldiers.
UNAMID Deputy Force Commander (DFC) Major General Duma Mdutyana welcomed this new deployment of Ethiopian peacekeepers. "This is the second Ethiopian infantry battalion to boost the Mission's capacity," he said. "I have no doubt that they will satisfy the expectations of both UNAMID and the people of Darfur." He further expressed the hope that, through the efforts of troop-contributing countries, the Mission would meet its final envisaged deployment of 19,555 troops by the end of this year.
In addition to this new battalion, Ethiopians already make up more than 1,400 of the Mission's troops. These include another infantry battalion, medium transport company, a multi-role logistics company contribution and a number of staff officers. They are mainly based in West Darfur.