Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodian peacekeeper injured by bullet in South Sudan

Cambodian peacekeeper injured by bullet in South Sudan

A United Nations peacekeeper stands at the UN compound in Juba earlier this week, where heavy fighting has seen multiple peacekeepers injured in recent days. AFP / UNMISS
A United Nations peacekeeper stands at the UN compound in Juba earlier this week, where heavy fighting has seen multiple peacekeepers injured in recent days. AFP / UNMISS

Cambodian peacekeeper injured by bullet in South Sudan

A member of Cambodia’s UN peacekeeping team in South Sudan has suffered a gunshot wound, and while senior military officials say the incident was not related to the rapidly deteriorating security situation in the civil war-torn country, there are conflicting reports as to what happened.

Phal Samorn, deputy director general of the National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces, Mines and Explosive Remnants of War, said the Cambodian peacekeeper was hit by a bullet that had been fired into the sky during South Sudan’s independence day celebrations. “Rith Virak, who is a member of the RCAF, sustained light injuries to his left hand,” Samorn said.

Ministry of Defence spokesman Chhum Socheat also said the peacekeeper was injured during a celebration and the gunshot wound was not due to the ongoing fighting. He added the Cambodian peacekeepers are not in “clear danger”.

“This was an accident and it was not in war,” he said. “We have them far away from the war zone.”

However, an official at the centre, who asked to remain anonymous, said Virak was injured by bullets from the fighting in Juba between soldiers of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and the opposition.

He said Virak was outside guarding the Cambodian military camp on July 7 when he was injured.

Two Chinese UN peacekeepers were recently killed in the conflict. The Kingdom currently has 153 peacekeepers stationed in South Sudan.

Additional reporting by Vong Sokheng

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • Quarantine still a must for all arrivals, in next Covid chapter

    Since early May, an average of five to 10 Cambodian people have died from Covid-19 a day with many others testing positive amid the ongoing community outbreak. At the same time, however, hundreds of patients also recovered a day. The first Covid-19 case in Cambodia was

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • Kingdom set to be a gold producer

    Cambodia will soon join the roster of gold producing countries after the government announced the commencement of commercial gold mining operations in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province's Keo Seima district from June 21. Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 10 announced that after 14 years of