1 Dec 2008
UNAMID welcomes Chinese engineers to build camps
17 July 2008 -- UNAMID today welcomed the arrival of 172 Chinese engineers n Nyala, bring the total number of Chinese engineers in Darfur to 315 and the total number of UNAMID forces to 8,000.
The Chinese contingent will work primarily on the completion of the Supercamp in Nyala and will expand other UNAMID camps in Darfur, providing the infrastructure and facilities that will allow more peacekeepers to deploy.
UNAMID’s Joint Special Representative Rodolphe Adada and Force Commander General Martin Luther Agwai travelled to Nyala to welcome the engineers.
“Deployment is our priority,” said Mr Adada, scotching inaccurate reports that the mission was evacuating. “We are not withdrawing, on the contrary we are accelerating our deployment. We are building the strength of the mission so we can protect more personnel and more Darfurians and continue to implement our mandate.”
General Agwai has emphasized the lack of engineering capacity as one of the principal constraints delaying deployment of more peacekeepers to this under-manned mission.
“Every commander wants the resources to fulfill his assignment,” said Force Commander General Agwai. “For me it's a very special day because what we need most is the engineering capacity to build and expand our camps to allow us to increase the numbers of our deployed forces.”
The Chinese company of engineers includes bridge and road-building detachments, construction and installation units, maintenance and support teams, and well-drilling specialists. Apart from their work on the Supercamp in Nyala and other UNAMID bases, the engineers will also assist local communities in Darfur with Quick Impact Projects, such as well-drilling.
“With the arrival of the Chinese engineers, we will make an actual contribution to the security, stability and development of Darfur,” said Major Xu Hanfa, deputy commander of the Chinese engineering unit.