By Wang Xi
WALUNGU, DRC, Nov. 14 (ChinaMil) -- Fourteen officers and soldiers of the road contingent of the 23rd Chinese peacekeeping engineer contingent to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) left for Walungu on November 12, local time. This is the third time that the contingent carries out mission in the Walungu area ever since it was deployed to the mission area in mid-September this year.
This time, the contingent will carry out a repair project of a 23-kilometer-long main road between Kamanyola and Walungu. It is part of the key traffic line connecting Bukavu in the South Kivu and cities in the northwest. The road conditions are poor and vehicle accidents happen there frequently as a result of longtime severe weather. The Chinese peacekeepers will complete the task and get through the traffic within five months.
The Walungu mission area lies in a harsh natural and social environment. Since there are frequent robberies and armed conflicts, the construction work is difficult to carry out and the Chinese contingent needs full security protection from the Nepalese peacekeeping force.
During previous tasks, the Chinese peacekeepers were stationed in Nepalese camps, which was in serious shortage of clean water. Besides, the rainy season made the road conditions around the camp muddy and as a result, so it was very difficult for them to move around.
The first task for the Chinese peacekeeping officers and soldiers after arriving in the DRC in September was a large-scale road repair project ranging from the Nepalese infantry camp to Butuze, where the forests were dense and the militant activities were rampant. What’s worse, the road was seriously damaged while the construction materials were insufficient.
During the operation, the Chinese officers and soldiers were formed into two teams, one heading for a mining yard 20 kilometers away to excavate sand and gravel needed for the construction, the other carrying out repair work. In addition, to ensure personal safety of the peacekeepers, they had to organize several emergency response drills with its Nepalese escort counterparts in case of possible dangerous situations. The road repair work was successfully completed with high standard by the Chinese contingent within one month, which was spoken highly of by the UN engineering department.
Less than a week after, the Walungu contingent was assigned a new task of repairing the damaged roads in the No. 2 Camp of the Pakistani peacekeeping force to guarantee the upcoming UN equipment inspection. With tight schedule and heavy task, Captain Hu Bin departed once again with his team without any delay. For better efficiency, they ate and slept at the construction site and completed the task in just one week, two days in advance. The scorching sun and the high-intensity labor have left marks on the 12 Chinese officers and soldiers.