A batch of 73 officers of military police will be dispatched soon to South Soudan to replace their counterparts.
“Although the world as well as Cambodia are facing the COVID-19 pandemic, Cambodia does not hesitate to send its forces to join peacekeeping missions under the UN umbrella,” underlined Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence, Samdech Pichey Sena Tea Banh while holding a get-together with Gendarmerie Squadron Unit 186 in Kampong Speu province recently.
Cambodia has already prepared everything, the deployment would be next month, said the Cambodian DPM, adding that the Cambodian blue helmet troops have to comply with the health guidelines and instructions of the UN in order to prevent the COVID-19 transmission.
Cambodia is not the only country that has sent its troops to replace their counterparts at the end of their missions during this pandemic crisis, he stressed.
According to Samdech Tea Banh, the Royal Government has also arranged some places for the Cambodian peacekeepers who will return home for 14-day quarantine. This year, about 463 blue helmet troops will come home from their respective missions from September onward.
H.E. Gen. Sem Sovanny, Director General of the National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces, Mines and ERW Clearance (NPMEC), said besides Gendarmerie Squadron Unit 186, Airport Engineering Unit 972, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit 882 will depart for their mission in Mali in September.
On Aug. 17, Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen announced his decision not to ask the UN to delay the exchange of its blue helmet troops after receiving the precise return and replacement schedule from the UN.
“The specific schedule allows us to easily arrange the quarantine to prevent the import of COVID-19 in Cambodia, i.e. from Mali in September 2020, South Sudan in October 2020, Central African Republic in November 2020, and Lebanon in January 2021,” he said, calling on the Cambodian peacekeepers in the four above-mentioned countries and those who are going to replace their counterparts to be ready for their return and departure, respectively.
Since 2006, Cambodia has deployed more than 6,500 peacekeepers, including 300 women, to join the UN peacekeeping missions in Sudan, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Chad, Cyprus, Lebanon, Mali, and Syria. Currently, a total of 678 peacekeepers, nearly 80 of them are women, have been on their UN missions in four countries namely Mali, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and Lebanon.
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press