ZHENGZHOU, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- The first batch of 160 Chinese peacekeepers returned home Monday from Sudan's Darfur after completing their 14-month mission there.
They arrived here in the capital of central China's Henan Province on Monday morning. The second batch of 155 peacekeepers is scheduled to be back home on Jan. 20.
The government accepted a UN request to send multi-functional engineering troops in April 2007, and 315 engineering corps personnel of the Beijing and Jinan military commands of the Chinese People's Liberation Army were deployed to Darfur in two groups in November 2007 and July 2008.
China began to send other peacekeepers to Darfur on Jan. 10. The first group of 153 members arrived in Sudan on Sunday; the second group of 161 members will depart on Jan. 18.
During the 14 months, the first batch of the army engineers conducted operations strictly under the unified arrangements of the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
They built an army camp, an airport, an administrative office building, fortifications and more than 6,250 km of roads, said Lu Yidong, deputy captain of the engineering team.
Lu noted that the Chinese peacekeeping troops assisted the neighboring peacekeeping army in camp construction and helped the southern Darfur states in economic construction.
The Chinese troops established a good reputation, with zero casualties, zero infections with contagious diseases and good discipline, he said.
The achievements of the first batch of army engineers won acclaim from all parties. Gen. Martin Luther Agwai, force commander of the UNAMID, spoke highly of the Chinese soldiers' contribution in the region at a UN news conference on Aug. 12, 2008.
All 315 members of the first Chinese engineering forces were awarded the UN Medal of Honor on Oct. 11, 2008; the first time that UNAMID gave medals to a peacekeeping troop.