Eighty-five Pakistani troops arrived in Darfur during the past two days to bolster the strength of the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force, known as UNAMID, deployed earlier this year to try to end the violence and suffering in the war-ravaged Sudanese region.
Another 176 members of the Pakistani Engineering Company are due later this week, bringing the total number of the Company’s members dispatched in Darfur to 335, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters.
They will work primarily to finish UNAMID’s “super camp” in El Geneina, West Darfur, expand other camps in Darfur, and build infrastructure and facilities for the peacekeepers, she stated.
Two groups of the Ethiopian Logistics Unit also arrived in Darfur over the weekend to help military components with supply, transport, maintenance and force protection. Ethiopia has one Infantry Battalion in Darfur and is expected to deploy another in 2009.
Last year, the Security Council authorized the peacekeeping force of about 26,000 uniformed personnel. But only some 10,000 have been deployed, and senior UN officials have repeatedly called on countries to supply the remaining troops and equipment needed.
An estimated 300,000 people have been killed and another 2.7 million have been displaced from their homes in Darfur since rebels began fighting Government forces and allied militiamen, known as the Janjaweed, in 2003.