UN Appreciates Many Special Projects by the Vietnamese Engineer Unit in Abyei

On the auspicious occasion commemorating the 49th anniversary of the liberation of the South and unification of Vietnam (April 30, 1975 - April 30, 2024) and the 70th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu Victory (May 7, 1954 - May 7, 2024), the Vietnamese Engineer Unit has been diligently engaged in a multitude of humanitarian endeavors within the Abyei region.

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On the morning of April 26, the Vietnamese Engineer Unit welcomed the inspection team led by Mission Support Chief at United Nations Robert Kirkwood.

Vietnamese Engineer Unit built a permanent barracks in Rumamier (Photo: baoquocte.vn)

Kirkwood highly appreciated the results achieved to date, especially the process of building the Highway Smart Barracks – the base of the Vietnamese Engineer Unit in Abyei.

By changing the entire appearance of this base, the Vietnamese Engineer Unit contributes to promoting the process of turning the Highway into one of the key projects of the United Nations.

It is expected that this project will be handed over on May 7, the same date as the 70th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu Victory.

Also, the Vietnamese Engineer Unit has been rushing to complete projects outside the base, such as building a fixed barracks at Rumamier, building a smart barracks at Anthony base for the Ghana Infantry Battalion, and renovating the military-civilian dual-use airport at Agok.

In particular, Agok airport, located more than 40km from the Mission headquarters, in the Southern Division, is considered one of the key locations of the Mission. Because of its close distance from the South Sudan border, this is an extremely complex area in terms of security and politics and currently has the presence of South Sudanese military forces.

Major Nguyen Dinh Viet, Head of the Construction Detachment, Vietnamese Engineer Unit, shared that, as soon as they took on the task, the Vietnamese Engineer Unit determined the importance of this project – building a military and civilian airport put into use by the United Nations for airplanes and helicopters, serving the purpose of important air transport destination.

“The airport has not been used for a long time due to severe deterioration. We surveyed and made a preliminary assessment of the overall area: due to terrain and weather conditions, the airport surface was degraded; The entrance road is nearly 1 meter deep, making it difficult to move; The sewer and drainage systems are ineffective,” said Viet.

Soldiers placed sewers at Agok airport (Photo: baoquocte.vn)

In just 3 days, with 9 staff directly participating in construction, more than 9,000 square meters of runway and drainage system were completed.

“The biggest difficulty when performing the mission is the long distance to travel, low road quality, and high risk of losing security and safety. Although the Mission agencies did not set a time requirement, the unit tried to carry out construction without stopping to ensure the safest and earliest flights,” the Vietnamese major said.

Also, the Vietnamese Engineer Unit has also coordinated with domestic benefactors to organize volunteer activities, contributing a small part to help improve people’s lives in the Abyei area.

The Vietnamese Engineer Unit donated necessities to African people. (Photo: baoquocte.vn)

On the occasion of the 49th anniversary of the liberation of the South, the reunification of the nation and the 70th anniversary of the historic Dien Bien Phu Victory, Major Nguyen Mau Vu, Political Commissar of the Vietnamese Engineer Unit shared that the team members responded to the peak emulation “Follow in the footsteps of Dien Bien soldiers – Determined to win the three “Best” (To be most willing, conscious and responsible, to carry out political tasks to achieve the highest results and to have the strictest discipline).

“The Highway base handover ceremony is expected to be held on May 7. We consider this to be the most practical and proud achievement, a mark of the Vietnamese Blue Berets in the Abyei area, together with the militia and soldiers of the whole country,” said Vu.

Zoey Nguyễn