The Defence Ministry is preparing to honour nearly 300 blue helmets who recently returned to the Kingdom from missions in the Republic of Mali and South Sudan.
A ministry statement yesterday noted that the ceremony for the 280 peacekeepers, planned for Friday, comes just days after another batch of 73 peacekeepers left for a mission to South Sudan on Monday.
“The Ministry of Defence will organize a ceremony to receive 280 Cambodian peacekeepers who have completed their missions in the Republic of Mali and South Sudan,” the statement said.
The ceremony will be held at the Council of Ministers at the Peace Palace and will be presided over by Defence Minister General Tea Banh who will represent Prime Minister Hun Sen, it added, noting that the blue helmets will be presented with medals.
General Chhum Sucheat, Defence Ministry spokesman, yesterday said the 280 Cambodian blue helmets were from three separate groups which completed missions in Mali and South Sudan.
He said the first group was comprised of 105 soldiers, while the second was made up of 117 soldiers, noting that both groups had been sent to Mali.
Gen Sucheat added that the third group was comprised of 58 military police officers who were stationed in South Sudan.
“I wish to say that during this ceremony, [Defense Minister] General Tea Banh will award medals to them,” he said.
On Monday, Cambodia sent 73 military police officers from Company 861 based in Kampong Speu province to join a peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.
Kin Phea, director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, yesterday said Cambodia plays an important role in UN peacekeeping efforts.
“Cambodia now participates in United Nations peacekeeping efforts but just after the civil war, blue helmets were stationed in the Kingdom to help maintain peace,” he noted.