11:32 GMT25 September 2020
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    China's infantry battalion will participate in a UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. The first 180 troops from the 700-strong battalion will fly to South Sudan in January, 2015.

    MOSCOW, December 22 (Sputnik) — The first infantry battalion from China to participate in a United Nations peacekeeping mission will depart for South Sudan in January, Xinhua news agency reported Monday.

    Initially 180 troops from the 700-strong battalion will fly to South Sudan in January. The rest will follow by air and sea in March.

    The total military deployment will include 121 officers and 579 soldiers. The unit also includes a squad of 13 female soldiers.

    The battalion will be equipped with a variety of ammunition ranging from drones to antitank missiles "for self defense purpose only," Xinhua reported.

    China is among the largest contributors of peacekeepers among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, having over 2,000 UN-aligned troops stationed in conflict zones around the world, according to the news agency.

    South Sudan has been in a civil war since December 2013. The conflict has claimed over 50,000 lives, according to the International Crisis Group, a human rights NGO.

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    Tags:
    peacekeeping, United Nations, China, South Sudan
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