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

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Cambodian women diving deep, going far

    There is a saying in Khmer that “women cannot dive deep or go far”. The meaning is that women should not stray too far from their traditional gender roles. But when Menno de Block, an entrepreneur from the Netherlands, took a good look around his