China offers peacekeepers for Mali

2013-05-24 10:32

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New York - A UN official says China has offered to contribute troops to a new UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, where Islamist jihadists controlled the country's north until French-led troops launched an offensive in January to oust them.

Andre-Michel Essoungou, a spokesperson for the UN peacekeeping department, told The Associated Press on Thursday that it "has received pledges and offers of contributions from a number of countries from around the world, including China".

The UN officials and diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcement has been made, said China has offered to send a civil engineering company, comprising about 150 soldiers, and is likely to send additional peacekeepers.

The Security Council has authorized a UN force comprising 11 200 military personnel to replace a 6 000-member African-led mission now in Mali on July 1.

Read more on:    un  |  china  |  mali  |  west africa

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