Zeng is 36 years old, and is a security officer at the UN general peacekeeping headquarters in Sudan. He used to be a Chinese police officer, but after taking on some peacekeeping operations, he quit his job and became a UN employee. He hopes he can work there until he retires. “As a big country, there are so few Chinese people working for the United Nations.” Zeng said.
The place Zeng is responsible for keeping secure is in El Fasher, a city in western Sudan, and is also known as a Super Camp. The Super Camp there covers about two square kilometers with 21,800 police and military personnel and 1,129 international civil servants. More than 20,000 peacekeepers from dozens of countries have turned this place into a small “global village.” Zeng’s task is to manage all the people going in and out of the camp, preventing theft and training new personnel.
|On March 19, 2010, Zeng Dexi (middle) looked |
around the UN general peacekeeping headquarters
in Sudan. As Sudan’s elections were just around
the corner, they had reinforced their security
and alertness. Soldiers from Rwanda were on duty
and Zeng had a very good work relationship with them.
The famous Abu Shouk camp is located 500 meters east of the Super Camp. There are 70,000 people living in the refugee camp, including all kinds of potential anti-government insurgents. What is of most concern is that the Super Camp cannot separate itself effectively from the refugee camp, and a number of unidentified persons are usually found moving around the wire-fence perimeter of the camp, and some even tried to enter the camp by digging tunnels. There are more than 60 people working under Zeng, and they have to patrol along the walls of the camp which has a perimeter of over five kilometers twice every day.
Zeng said that if one wants to know about the local security situation, they just need to pay attention to where he is living. When the situation is stable, he lives in a rented folk house around the camp, and when things are not so stable, he will move into the Super Camp’s container-made dormitories according to the regulations. If the tension keeps growing, he would then have to live in fortification.
To work here, one has to strictly abide by many security methods, such as keeping a 7 p.m. curfew, and not going out of the city into the rural area without protection during the daytime. Zeng believes these methods are necessary because 57 peacekeepers have died in various kinds of events since the UN began its peacekeeping operations there.
Before coming to Sudan, Zeng was a policeman at Shenzhen Municipal Public Security Bureau. He was sent to participate in peacekeeping operations by the Chinese government twice. Now, he is in Sudan as an employee of the United Nations. In accordance with the demands of the United Nations, he has quit his domestic job.
According to Zeng, the treatment he receives at the UN is good; in fact, his salary is more than 10 times higher than that in China, and he can have a holiday every several months. Although the contract is signed every year, it can be extended if the person is hard working. Zeng also plans to apply for work in other areas, including Iraq and Afghanistan, and he intends to work for the United Nations until he retires. He added that it is not difficult to apply for the job, but many Chinese people are unfamiliar with the methods. ”With the largest population in the world, there are very few Chinese people working for the United Nations”