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Shipping out

A group of almost 200 Cambodians departed to Lebanon yesterday to replace the current team as part of a peacekeeping mission. The peacekeepers will be responsible for, among other things, the construction of bridges and mountain roads, transport, clearing land and defusing mines, according to Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Pol Saroeun, who spoke at a ceremony yesterday.

The 184 UN forces, including 16 women, are with Military Construction Unit 369, and will swap out with those who have completed their one-year mission in Lebanon. The returning team is expected to land in Cambodia on January 6. According to a report, Cambodia has sent almost 4,000 troops, including 146 women, to join UN missions since 2006.

Currently, Cambodia employs about 1,000 troops in eight countries – Sudan, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon and Mali. On Monday, a member of Cambodia’s UN peacekeeping mission died of malaria in the Central African Republic. UN official Alexandre Huynh addressed the soldiers during the ceremony, saying their commitment would "encourage other countries as well".

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