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Cambodia will not ask UN to postpone peacekeeper replacement after all

Ben Sokhean / Khmer Times Share:
Cambodian blue helmet troops. Khmertimes

Prime Minister Hun Sen today changed his mind by not asking the United Nations to postpone replacement of Cambodian peacekeeping troops on their mission abroad.

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Speaking at an inauguration of the Garden City Water Park in Phnom Penh yesterday, Mr Hun Sen asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to postpone the replacement of Cambodian blue helmet troops on UN missions abroad in an effort to stem the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, in his message today, Mr Hun Sen said he changed his decision not to do so.

“ After receiving a specific time of the return and replacement of Cambodian blue helmet troops organised by the United Nations, this morning I decided not to delay the return of the Cambodian blue helmets and their replacements,” he said.

He said the UN’s specific timeline has made it easier for the government to prepare their quarantine upon return.

He said Cambodian peacekeepers in Mali are due to return in September, while those in South Sudan will come in October, those in Central Africa in November and those in Lebanon in January 2021.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the government and its troops are committed to participating in peacekeeping under the UN umbrella, he said.

Mr Hun Sen also called on the troops in the four countries to be ready to return to the Kingdom, while their replacements are also prepared.

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