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NZ army engineers head to Sinai Peninsula

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/01/2017
<p>New Zealand Defence Force</p> © SNPA/Ross Setford

New Zealand Defence Force

New Zealand Defence Force engineers are heading to the Sinai Peninsula for a six month stint and one job they'll do there is build a fence to improve security for peacekeepers.

Thirty-five engineers from the New Zealand Army's 2nd Engineer Regiment left on Friday to help build a security fence around the Multinational Force and Observers' (MFO) South Camp in Egypt.

After operating at North Camp for more than 30 years, the mission's headquarters and a number of troops moved to South Camp in mid-2016 because of the deteriorating security situation in North Sinai.

Major General Tim Gall, the commander joint forces New Zealand, says the fence will improve physical protection at South Camp.

At present, 26 NZDF members form part of the MFO force of about 1700 from 11 other countries.

The MFO has peacekeeping responsibilities in the Sinai Peninsula since 1982 and the New Zealand government has extended the NZDF's contribution to July 2018.

So far the NZDF has contributed to the transport section, training, and New Zealanders have had key staff positions at the MFO.

The MFO is building new facilities to accommodate the influx into South Camp and had requested assistance with some of the infrastructure improvements.

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee visited Kiwi troops on the Sinai Peninsula last year.

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