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Peacekeeper allegations rebutted

By Mo Jingxi (China Daily) Updated: 2016-10-12 06:52

The Defense Ministry rebutted on Tuesday allegations by a Washington-based group that Chinese peacekeepers had abandoned their posts in South Sudan in July instead of protecting civilians, saying it is "sheer malicious speculation".

The Center for Civilians in Conflict said that Chinese peacekeepers with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan had withdrawn from a civilian protection zone in July after coming under attack, Reuters reported.

"The report's allegations concerning Chinese peacekeepers do not conform to the facts at all," Yang Yujun, the ministry, said in a reply published on the ministry's website.

The Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion - responsible for the safety of the headquarters of UNMISS in the capital city of Juba and the nearby No 1 refugee camp - has spared no effort to ensure the safety of civilians and other peacekeepers as instructed, he said.

"Chinese peacekeeping officers and soldiers remained at their posts, quickly organizing reinforcements and continuing to implement the mandate of UNMISS while rescuing wounded soldiers," Yang said.

According to Yang, some militants had sneaked into the No 1 refugee camp after fierce fighting broke out near UNMISS on July 11.

"The Chinese infantry battalion had sent out soldiers and officers who were on duty nearby to search for the militants immediately," he said, adding that Chinese peacekeepers also helped to calm the refugees and properly settle them.

"The UN is now investigating the performance of the UN peacekeeping forces in South Sudan during the conflict, and any unwarranted accusations against UN peacekeeping operations and personnel before the findings are published are irresponsible," Yang said.

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