China deploying first peacekeeping helicopter unit to Sudan

World Aviation Defense & Security News - China
China deploying first peacekeeping helicopter unit to Sudan
China has established its first peacekeeping helicopter unit for operations in Sudan. The unit was established by an army aviation corp of the 81st Group Army of the PLA. On May 19, the unit took oaths during a special ceremony, the state-run newspaper Xinhua said on May 19, 2017.
China deploying first helicopter unit to Sudan 640 001Chinese peacekeepers with their Mi-171 helicopter at a departure ceremony of China's first helicopter peacekeeping detachment on May 19, 2017
(Credit: Zheng)
The unit consists of 140 soldiers, and is equipped with four medium multi-functional helicopters, Mi-171. The unit will be deployed in batches to conduct operations in Darfur, Sudan. Its main tasks include air patrol and the transportation of personnel and materials.

The peacekeepers come primarily from an aviation brigade of the 81st army group of the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

The team will take on a number of tasks, including air patrols, transport of peacekeeping forces, evacuation of rescued personnel, and air supplies.

China already deployed a 700-member United Nations peacekeeping infantry battalion in South Sudan in late Dec. 2016.

The UN Security Council passed a resolution backing a peacekeeping mission in South Sudan in 2014, after civil war broke out in the country in 2013, two years after it gained independence from Sudan.

In July 2016, two Chinese peacekeepers, Li Lei and Yang Shupeng, died after their vehicle was struck by a shell when it was guarding a refugee camp near the UN compound in Juba.