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Cambodian peacekeepers departing for Lebanon

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
The soldiers will be deployed on Lebanon’s southern border with Israel. Veng Sambo

The government will send 184 soldiers on a United Nations peacekeeping mission to Lebanon on January 18 to take over from Cambodian blue helmets stationed there.

Major General Phal Samorn, deputy secretary-general of the National Centre for Peacekeeping forces, said the contingent will include 13 women.

Maj Gen Samorn said all soldiers were from engineering unit 963 and will take over from forces currently deployed on Lebanon’s southern border with Israel, who will return to the kingdom on January 17.

He said that every year, Cambodia sends more than 800 soldiers to relieve personnel on peacekeeping duty.

“In the past Cambodian blue helmets have had problems there, so I ask our forces being deployed to be extremely careful,” he said.

In October 2017, General Sem Sovanny, Maj Gen Samorn’s predecessor, said that 4,769 Cambodian peacekeepers had been deployed since 2006 in eight countries: Chad, the Central African Republic, Lebanon, North Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Cyprus, and Mali.

“Since 2014, nine Cambodian peacekeepers have died, and 11 have been injured,” he said.

In December, Prime Minister Hun Sen asked Cambodian troops working with the UN to be careful in regards to the Trump administration’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, destabilising the region.

“I ask the Ministry of Defence as well as those in charge of sending blue helmets out of the country to be careful in Lebanon,” Mr Hun Sen told hundreds of military men and women at the inauguration of the construction of a new intelligence building.

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