Chinese peacekeepers build ‘peace square’

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21 Jan 2020

Chinese peacekeepers build ‘peace square’

UNIFIL and local officials gathered last week at a public school in a south Lebanese village to mark the completion of a “peace square” built over the past five months by the Mission’s peacekeepers from China.

Following request from Al Majadil Public School, UNIFIL Chinese peacekeepers started the work in August 2019. In the end, they built a comprehensive square integrating a standard basketball court, about 600 square metres of awnings and a parking space. The peacekeepers also helped the school renovate or refurbish doors, windows, walls and desks.

During the 16 January ceremony during which the square was handed over to the School, its Principal Malek Hamedi expressed his gratitude to UNIFIL and its Chinese Construction Engineering Unit (CHINCEU), which completed the project.

"We hoped to build such a square three years ago, but we never had the financial and human resources,” he said. “When we asked CHINCEU for assistance, they immediately started working."

The school, which was heavily damaged during the 2006 war, named it "China-Lebanon Peace Square." Since their deployment to UNIFIL in 2015, Chinese peacekeepers have been offering generous support to the school, which currently has about 700 students.

CHINCEU Deputy Commander Major Shen Yanxi said that the peacekeeping officers and soldiers not only completed the tasks to a high standard, but also took initiatives to carry out humanitarian activities benefiting the host communities.

Since its deployment to Lebanon at the end of May last year, the current batch of CHINCEU has completed 29 engineering construction tasks across UNIFIL’s 1,060 square kilometres area of operation in south Lebanon.

UNIFIL currently has more than 400 peacekeepers from China undertaking mainly construction and demining works across the Mission’s area of operation.

Photos by: Captain Peng Xi and Lt Li Minggui / UNIFIL