“Long-term impact” of UN peacekeepers emergency repairs at Malakal airport
Emergency repairs carried out by UN peacekeepers at Malakal airport in the Upper Nile region of South Sudan will have a “long-term impact on the local population” according to a senior military officer of the UN Mission in the country, UNMISS.
The Indian Horizontal Military Engineering Company recently rehabilitated approximately 2km of the airport runway in the town following an inspection by air safety experts who found “serious and threatening damages on the runway surface.”
Using heavy engineering vehicles and other heavy duty equipment, the team repaired sections of the landing tarmac to allow air operations to resume swiftly.
UNMISS Sector Commander, Brigadier General Xie said the emergency repairs would have “a long-term impact on the local population” and applauded the engineers for a “job well done.”
With over 50 daily landings and takeoffs, the airport is used by the United Nations mission in South Sudan to transport peacekeepers and cargo. The airport is also used by humanitarian aid workers, local government officials and other travellers.
With poor road networks in the Upper Nile region, the airport in Malakal serves as a lifeline connecting the town to other parts of the country.
Consequently, when the airstrip is in bad condition, operations are at risk.
The prompt and timely response by the UN Mission was appreciated by the airport management and government officials from the region.
There are currently over thirty thousand civilians seeking safety in the UNMISS PoC site next to the UN base in Malakal.