China builds first multi-role controlled demolition site for UN peace force to Lebanon

Yao Jianing

The 17th Chinese peacekeeping force to Lebanon has succeeded in building the first multi-role Controlled Demolition Site (CDS) for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), after almost two months of hard work on the project.

At the inauguration ceremony marking the completion of the CDS in Naqoura village in southern Lebanon on Friday, Brig. Gen. Shivaram Kharel, Deputy Force Commander of the UNIFIL, spoke highly of Chinese peacekeepers' contribution to the construction of the demolition site.

The Chinese peacekeepers "have demonstrated genuine professional spirits and enthusiasm within two months after their transfer of authority in May," Kharel said.

Col. Shi Honghui, commander of the 17th Chinese peacekeeping contingent to Lebanon, highlighted the peace purpose of the Chinese force in Lebanon.

"We are here for peace ... We will better fulfill our missions of mine clearance, infrastructure construction and maintenance, as well as medical and humanitarian aid, to promote the peace in southern Lebanon," Shi said at the ceremony.

The CDS, the first of its kind in southern Lebanon since the deployment of the UNIFIL there 40 years ago, will be mainly used to destroy expired ammunition under 25 kg, according to the Engineer Section of the UNIFIL.

The UN Security Council established the UNIFIL on March 19, 1978 to monitor the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon. Its mandate was expanded following the 2006 Lebanon War.

Since 2006, China has maintained a peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon as a part of the UNIFIL, tasked with missions such as mine-sweeping, project construction, medical rescue and humanitarian assistance.

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