Italian peace-keeping sappers join EU forces in Bangui, CAR

Engineering troops will clear mines, build infrastructure

(ANSA) Rome, August 28 - Italy's contingent within the EU peacekeeping mission to the Central African Republic (EUFOR RCA) has been deployed, spearheaded by 50 airborne sappers from the crack Folgore paratroop regiment, defence ministry sources said Thursday.
    The 50 have joined the EU contingent's Ucatex base at Bangui, the CAR capital, where as many as 750 troops are taking part in the peace-keeping operation.
    The enginering troops' aim is to protect the civilian population and assist reconstruction following the violent clashes that erupted at the end of last year, killing thousands and leading 1.3 million people to flee their homes.
    The sappers' tasks include ensuring the mobility of the EU forces, defusing bombs, mines and other unexploded ordnance remaining from the internecine conflict and carrying out basic infrastructure projects of use to the civilian population and local government.
    The Italian soldiers will use armoured Lince vehicles equipped with Italian-designed hi-tech Hitrole turret systems, the sources said.


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