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China sends peacekeepers to Liberia
September 30, 2013, 5:36 am

China has repeatedly insisted that peacekeeping personnel should not be directly involved in military conflicts in host countries [Xinhua Images]

China has repeatedly insisted that peacekeeping personnel should not be directly involved in military conflicts in host countries [Xinhua Images]

China will send a 140-strong riot squad to Liberia for a United Nations peace-keeping mission, the Ministry of Public Security announced on Sunday.

The 14-member first batch of the squad will set off from Beijing on Monday. It is composed of a deputy chief of the squad, a liaison officer, and personnel from the logistics, combat and medical sector.

After their arrival, they will set up camps and lay the groundwork for the arrival of the rest of the peace-keeping squad.

The second batch will leave for Liberia “in a few days,” the ministry said.

In Liberia, 150,000 people, mostly civilians, were killed in a civil war that ended a decade ago.

The UN Security Council had earlier this month extended the mandate of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) for another year.

At the height of its operations, which began in 2003, UNMIL totalled more than 15,000 troops and well over 1,000 police personnel, and oversaw two series of elections.

According to UN figures, 850,000 Liberians have become refugees in neighbouring countries during the long drawn out civil war.

Meanwhile, Liberia’s former President Charles Taylor lost his appeal against a war-crimes conviction on Thursday at the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague.

Judges confirmed a 50-year jail term against Taylor for encouraging rebels in Sierra Leone to mutilate, rape and murder victims in its civil war.

Since 2000, China has dispatched peace-keeping security forces to at least eight task regions, including Timore-Leste, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Liberia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Haiti, and South Sudan.

China has repeatedly insisted that peacekeeping personnel should not be directly involved in military conflicts in host countries.

“The Chinese security force is actually a guard team that will mainly be responsible for the security of the MINUSMA headquarters and the living areas of peacekeeping forces,” Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said in June after announcing China’s peacekeeping mission to Mali.

China is now the biggest contributor to peacekeeping missions among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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