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Cambodian asks UN to delay replacement of Blue Helmet troops

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Cambodian UN peacekeepers. Prime Minister Hun Sen has urged the UN to delay rotation. KT

Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the United Nations to delay the replacement of Cambodian peacekeeping forces due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking during the  inauguration ceremony of  the Garden City Water Park in Sangkat Prek Tasek, Khan Chroy Changvar, he appealed to the UN Secretary-General to postpone the replacement of Cambodian troops to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

According to the Premier, some 400 Cambodian blue helmet troops will be deployed to replace their counterparts being on UN missions in different countries such as Mali, Lebanon, Central African Republic and Sudan. Cambodia, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has requested the UN Secretary-General to delay the replacement.

If the UN cannot do so, an exception should be made for Cambodia, he underlined, adding that Cambodia does not want to let its blue helmet troops to stay forever in those countries, but just a short period of time.

Of the 80 Cambodian peacekeeping forces who  returned recently from Mali, nine have been tested positive, said Mr Hun Sen.

At the same time, the Prime Minister asked for understanding from Cambodian forces being on UN peacekeeping missions and their families for the extension of their missions.  Heng Panha –

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