By Ma Yichong and Zhang Kang
SUDAN, July 6 (ChinaMil) -- The 14th Chinese peacekeeping engineer detachment to Darfur in Sudan successfully completed a 105-km road reconnaissance mission between the temporary operating base (TOB) in Golo and the peacekeeping camp in Tawila on Tuesday.
“This road reconnaissance mission is of great significance to insure such aspects as the traffic and liaison between Golo and Tawila, the transportation of supplies and materials, the humanitarian assistance, and so on,” said Chen Liang, a commanding officer of the 14th Chinese peacekeeping engineer detachment to Darfur in Sudan.
He added that the road is seen as a “lifeline” connecting Golo’s mountainous areas to the outside world, but people need to make a 240-km detour to travel between the two places because vehicles are unable to pass through some road sections.
Moreover, the road crosses several seasonal river ways, and therefore, it is almost impassable when water level goes up after the rain. And the local area has been in the rainy season for over three months during which rain storms, sand storms, and other severe weather events were frequent and brought considerable challenges to the route reconnaissance mission.
In addition, the local security situation is critical, and conflicts between Sudanese government forces and anti-government armed forces have recently escalated in some areas of Darfur.
To ensure the safe and successful fulfillment of the mission, the Chinese peacekeeping engineer detachment accomplished a 6-day mission in only 3 days, and the reconnaissance team kept working almost without a break and was prepared to respond to any emergency occurring at any time.
After the reconnaissance, they mastered accurate details about the road conditions and the situations of people along the road, and they submitted a detailed road reconnaissance report to the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), in which scientifically sound references and feasible suggestions were provided for the UNAMID’s next step of building this road.