“Chinese peacekeepers are true friends of Sudanese people”

China Military
Yao Jianing
An official of the Nyala International Airport issues a Certificate of Honor to Wang Xing (5, L), commanding officer of the 13th Chinese peacekeeping engineer detachment to Darfur of Sudan, at the completion ceremony on May 31, 2017. (eng.chinamil.com.cn/Photo by Zhou Yanfeng)

By Si Dayong and Wang Haotian

NYALA, June 5 (ChinaMil) -- The 13th Chinese peacekeeping engineer detachment to Darfur of Sudan wrapped up the upgrading and renovation task for the Nyala International Airport on May 31, 2017, local time after 131 days of continuous work, ensuring the smooth passage of this "artery in the air" with high-quality and efficient construction.

Nyala is the second largest city in Sudan and the Nyala International Airport is an important air transport hub in the country. The Nyala International Airport announced an undated shutdown at the end of December last year because of aging of the airport facility, greatly impacting the United Nations peacekeeping operations, transportation of humanitarian supplies and travels of local people.

The just-deployed 13th Chinese peacekeeping engineer detachment to Darfur of Sudan undertook the upgrading and renovation task for the airport in middle January this year at the request of the local government and the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

After continuous construction by the Chinese peacekeepers over nearly one week, the airport restored its basic functions and resumed service.

"The Chinese engineers have played the role of a bridge and a link in dealing with this emergency, laying a solid foundation for exchanges and cooperation between the UNAMID and the Sudanese government," said Brig. Gen. Gage, commander of the Southern Darfur Theater of the UNAMID.

To further improve various supporting facilities at the airport, the Chinese peacekeepers continued the hard work for long hours in high temperatures and heat every day, and cleared areas totaling more than 500,000 square meters, built 12 kilometers of airport ring roads, and dug and cleaned 4,500 meters of drainage ditches in the more than four months that followed. Currently various facilities of the airport have been recovered for normal operation.

The governor of South Darfur paid a special visit to the construction site after seeing the changes of the airport during a flight and expressed gratitude to Chinese engineers. "Thank you for your unremitting efforts, and you are true friends of the Sudanese people," said the governor.

The manager of the Nyala International Airport issued the Certificate of Honor to the Chinese engineers at the completion ceremony on May 31 for their outstanding performance.

The certificate read: "Thank the Chinese engineers for their great efforts in the construction of the Nyala International Airport, and we will always remember your help to us."

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