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Egyptian Engineers Join UN-AU Peacekeepers, Darfur

Egyptian engineers join UN-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur

12 August 2008 - The joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) reports that 129 Egyptian engineering personnel arrived today in the western Sudanese region to join the force that is trying to quell the deadly fighting and humanitarian suffering that has raged since 2003.

Today's arrival at the airport in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state and the headquarters of UNAMID, completes the full deployment of the Egyptian engineering company, which consists of 335 personnel.

The mission said today that the next major deployment will be of the Ethiopian battalion, which is expected to take place this weekend.

UNAMID is supposed to have more than 26,000 uniformed personnel, including peacekeepers and police officers, when it reaches full deployment. But currently only about 10,000 blue helmets have arrived.

The mission said it hopes it will soon reach the capacity it needs to fulfil its mandate and meet the expectations of both the people of Darfur and the international community.

Meanwhile, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that UN agencies continue to deliver aid to all accessible areas of Darfur, despite targeted attacks against relief workers, restrictions by the Sudanese Government and aerial bombings by the Government.

Last month the number of targeted attacks against humanitarian groups reached alarming levels, with one guard for a non-governmental organization (NGO) being killed, six aid workers wounded and 21 vehicles stolen or hijacked. Armed men also broke into 33 premises belonging to humanitarian operations.

ENDS

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