BEIJING (AP) — China has sent 120 troops to South Sudan as part of a 700-member U.N. peacekeeping force, deepening its commitment to the troubled East African nation.
Once the entire battalion is deployed, they will replace Chinese peacekeepers currently in place, who suffered two dead in fighting between the government and rebels in July.
China has sent two previous battalions to South Sudan to protect civilians, U.N. staff and humanitarian workers, conduct patrols and provide security escorts.
South Sudan has seen continuous fighting since its civil war broke out in December 2013. The more than 12,000 U.N. peacekeepers already in the country have been criticized for failing to protect civilians.
China is the biggest contributor of peacekeepers among the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, with 2,639 currently deployed.