New force for Lebanon peace
More than 180 personnel from Cambodian Multirole Engineering Unit 369 departed for a UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon yesterday to replace the current engineering team, which is set to return tomorrow after a year-long stint.
As many as 184 personnel will be part of the 7th engineering unit sent there, which brings the total number of Cambodians sent on peacekeeping missions to 4,180 since 2006, according to the National Center for Peacekeeping Force’s report.
“This makes Cambodia a significant contributor among Asean countries, taking also the role that Cambodia plays in demining training into consideration,” United Nations Resident Coordinator Alexandre Huynh said during the sending-off ceremony at Phnom Penh Pochentong Air Base yesterday.
“By sharing your skills and experience with countries enduring conflict and instability, your work helps save lives,” he added.
According to Chinese news agency Xinhua, the peacekeepers will work on landmine clearance as well as the construction of roads, bridges, shelters and barracks.
General Pol Sarouen, the commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, also reminded those on peacekeeping missions to be vigilant with their security as they often were being deployed to countries struggling with violent clashes and internal strife.
“So all forces have to be constantly alert, including with your security and health and with diseases,” he said.
On Monday Luy Bunlong, a driver for the Engineering Construction unit and a member of Cambodia’s UN peacekeeping team, reportedly contracted malaria and died in a hospital in the eastern city of Bria while on a mission in the Central African Republic.
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