Nearly 300 Cambodian “blue helmets” departed for a UN peacekeeping mission on October 1, marking a total of 7,821 personnel sent by Cambodia on UN missions since 2006.

Cambodia’s National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces director-general Sem Sovanny said while seeing off the mission at Phnom Penh International Airport that this is the eighth time the country has sent forces on UN peacekeeping missions, this time with 298 personnel to Mali.

The 298-strong personnel are divided into two units, one is Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and the other is airport engineering.

He said this deployment will swap out another team.

“The new team has received Covid-19 booster shot and undergone medical checkup with health certificates valid for 72 hours. When they arrive at the destination, they will be quarantined as instructed by health authorities of Mali and the UN,” Sovanny said.

He said Cambodia is also preparing other forces from the military, engineering, mine clearance, and a mobile unit to take part in the UN mission and will be included in the reserve rapid system of the UN.

“When the UN makes a request and our government grants it, we will send our forces immediately because we have been training and are prepared. This year, we will send more forces to work with other teams,” he said.