400 troops head off on peace mission to South Sudan

Mom Sophon / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
About 1,000 Cambodians are on peacekeeping missions around the world. KT/Mai Vireak

Cambodia is sending 429 peacekeepers to participate in the United Nations’ joint activities in Mali and South Sudan today as 309 officers in the region are due to return on Friday.
 
According to the Defense Ministry, the group going to Mali will include 165 airport military officers and 144 explosives officers who will help with airport security and demining training.
 
The group going to South Sudan will comprise 120 military officers.
 
Veng Sokheng, a senior official at the ministry, said the peacekeepers were being sent in response to a request from the UN.
 
“Cambodian forces are already working with the United Nations in those countries. This group will swap places with those leaving after completing their one-year stints,” Mr. Sokheng said yesterday.
 
The 309 personnel due to come home on Friday are 165 airport military officers and 144 explosives officers who have been working in Mali.
This is the eleventh year Cambodia has sent officers to take part in the UN’s peacekeeping missions in eight countries.
 
Since 2006, the kingdom has sent 4,389 officers to work as demining specialists, military medics, military engineers, in vertical construction teams and as observers, among others.
 
There are currently approximately 1,000 peacekeepers in Sudan, South Sudan, Central Africa, Chad, Mali, Syria, Lebanon and Mali.
 
Cambodian peacekeepers have helped maintain security in those countries, Mr. Sokheng said, and the initiative has been lauded by many other countries.
 
“The mission of our forces, in line with United Nation standards, is to obey UN laws and regulations.
 
 The UN has confidence in our forces,” he said, adding it has also asked Cambodia to prepare additional forces in the event of an urgent need for more peacekeepers in the region.

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