Cambodian hurt on peacekeeping mission to Mali

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Captain Mom Rithy was injured in a firefight in Mali. Supplied

A Cambodian peacekeeper was injured during an attack by a rebel group around 100 kilometres away from Asogo in Mali on Friday.

General Chhum Sucheat, spokesman of the National Defence Ministry, said that captain Mom Rithy, 38, a gunman in a mine clearing unit in Mali, was injured in the attack.

Captain Rithy is currently being treated for injuries on his hands and legs.

Gen Sucheat said the attack caused two Nigerian blue helmets to die at the scene, with an additional 15 being injured.
Captain Rithy comes from Pursat province.

Regional armies, UN forces and French and US soldiers are struggling to halt the growing influence of Islamist militants, some with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State, in West Africa’s Sahel region.

Mali’s UN mission, MINUSMA, has suffered the highest number of fatalities among current U.N. peacekeeping operations.
“I condemn in the strongest terms this attack that has once again befallen the MINUSMA force as well as the (Malian army),” U.N. mission head Mahamat Saleh Annadif said in a statement.

A 2013 French-led military intervention drove back militants who had seized control of Mali’s desert north a year earlier, but they have regrouped and launch regular attacks against Malian soldiers, U.N. peacekeepers and civilians.

Islamist groups are now increasingly exploiting the porous borders between Mali and neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso to expand their range of operations, alarming Western powers.

In May, four Cambodian peacekeepers were killed in a raid by a Christian anti-Balaka rebel group in Central African Republic. Last month, the UN gave $70,000 in compensation to each family of the fallen officers.

Since 2006, Cambodia has sent more than 4,769 on UN peacekeeping missions as demining specialists, medics, engineers and observers in eight countries, including Sudan, South Sudan, Chad, Central Africa Republic, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus and Mali.

This makes Cambodia the third largest contributor to UN peacekeeping missions in Asean.

With Reuters

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