Thai soldiers to join UN mission in South Sudan

Chinese peacekeepers parade during the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers in Juba, South Sudan on May 29, 2017. Thailand will send army engineers to join the mission by January next year. (Reuters photo)

The Defence Council has approved a plan to despatch almost 270 military engineers to take part in the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.

Defence Ministry spokesman Maj Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich said on Monday the Thai unit to go to the African nation comprises 268 engineers of the Royal Thai Army.

An advanced unit will leave for South Sudan in December to prepare the groundwork for the full team who will follow by January next year, he added.

Thailand already has 10 police officers in the United Nations Mission to South Sudan, and is one of 60 countries to send personnel to the recently-formed African nation.

The new despatch at the request of the United Nations needs Cabinet approval.

South Sudan is in a civil war that has taken the lives of tens of thousands and forced 12 million people to flee their homes since it broke away from Sudan in 2011.

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