Cambodia on Friday sent nearly 300 forces to Mali in a routine Peace Keeping mission for airport construction and clearance of unexploded explosive ordnance.
The ceremony at the airport saw 298 officers among are 25 females from the Airfield Engineer Unit 891 and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit 231 attended by senior minister Pol Saroeun, high representative of Prime Minister Hun Sen and Ms. Pauline Tamesis, the UN resident coordinator being given blessings before they boarded the aircraft on their mission to Mali.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ms. Pauline Tamesis said that peacekeepers of Airfield Engineer unit and the Explosive Ordnance will become part of the United Nations family.
She also said that it is encouraging to see the continuous participation of Cambodian women in the UN peacekeeping mission as they represent a positive shift toward equality in the Cambodian Armed Forces.
“As we bid farewell to you, I hope that you take pride in making the world a better and safer place. The United Nations is grateful to you, the Royal government and the people of Cambodia for helping to make peace a reality in a foreign land,” she said.
Pol Saroeun had also said that for 13 years now, Cambodia has sent thousands of peace keepers under the UN umbrella and they faced many challenges issues while on mission overseas.
“In fact, today Cambodia sent forces from two units on a mission to Mali, this mission will face violence, instability caused by groups of extremists, clashes or rebellion as well as natural disaster and sickness which could threaten their lives during the mission,” he said.
Since 2006 Cambodia has sent 6,049 forces for Un Peacekeeping Mission and currently about 1,000 forces are in mission in South Sudan, South African, Lebanon and Mali.