BEIJING, June 1 (Reuters) - One Chinese United Nations peacekeeper has been killed, and four injured, after an attack in Mali, China's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, calling for an investigation into the incident to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Soldiers of a United Nations peacekeeping mission have been stationed in northern Mali, along with French forces, for three years since separatists joined jihadists to seize the region from the government in Bamako.
The militants have staged several high profile attacks in the past year, not only in Mali but also in neighbouring Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.
A peace accord signed last year was meant to bring stability to the region, but attacks against the U.N. mission, Malian military and civilians are still frequent.
In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China urged the Mali government and the United Nations to investigate the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice.
"This is a grave and intolerable crime. China strongly condemns it," Hua told a daily news briefing, describing the incident as a terrorist attack on the U.N. peacekeeping mission.
She did not say who China thought was behind the attack.
China now has more than 2,400 peacekeepers in Mali and other African countries, she said, adding that the country would continue to positively contribute to U.N. peacekeeping missions to help ensure peace and stability in Africa.
China will contribute a tenth of the budget for U.N. peacekeeping operations between 2016 and 2018, slightly behind the United States, the U.N.'s peacekeeping chief told the country's official Xinhua news agency on Sunday.
Five U.N. peacekeepers from Togo were also killed and one person was seriously injured in an ambush in central Mali on Sunday. (Reporting by Michael Martina; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Non-headline news of the day: Chinese combat peacekeepers in Mali
China's peacekeepers working in Mali
Xinhua | 2013-12-13 21:51:02
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The first batch of 135 peacekeepers in Mali have conducted the mission's first defense drilling operation to improve emergency handling capabilities, according to the Chinese Ministry of National Defense on Friday.
China sent the peacekeepers to Mali on Dec. 4, marking the first time the country has dispatched security forces for such a mission.
The team consists of engineers, medical staff and security guards from the Shenyang Military Area Command and the 211 Hospital of the People's Liberation Army. They are the advance troops of a 395-strong force that China will send to Mali at the request of the United Nations.
After they arrived, they prepared tents and constructed military bunkers, according to a statement from the ministry's peacekeeping office.
More than 1,700 tonnes of equipment and materials have been transported by sea to the area.
The team will be tasked with repairing roads and bridges, airport runways and facilities at camps, safeguarding the security of mission headquarters, as well as providing medical treatment and epidemic prevention.
The force's remaining servicemen are ready for departure according to the UN arrangement.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
China commits combat troops to Mali
You can read a good summary from today's FT.com
June 27, 2013 2:14 pm
China commits combat troops to Mali
By Kathrin Hille in Beijing
China has publicly committed combat troops on a UN peacekeeping mission for the first time, marking a big shift in Beijing’s foreign policy.
Having close to 1,900 personnel deployed as of December last year, China is already the largest contributor to UN peacekeeping missions among the five permanent member countries of the UN Security Council. But Beijing has long shied away from sending combat troops.