Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodian peacekeepers set for mission to Lebanon

Cambodian peacekeepers set for mission to Lebanon

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodian peacekeepers march at a send-off ceremony last year. Heng chivoan

Cambodian peacekeepers set for mission to Lebanon

Cambodia is to send 184 peacekeepers to Lebanon by the end of this month to join the UN mission in the Middle Eastern nation, the National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces, Mine and Explosive Remnants of War (NPMEC) told The Post on Wednesday.

The peacekeepers will work on mine clearance, demarcation and construction projects, and will relieve the 184 Cambodian troops whose year-long mission is ending, NPMEC spokeswoman Kosal Malinda said.

They will mainly focus on clearing unexploded ordnance left behind from previous conflicts in Lebanon.

Cambodia is the third largest contributor of UN peacekeeping forces in the Asean region behind Indonesia and Malaysia.

“According to primary information, they are to be deployed on January 15 or 17, but this may be pushed back as the UN has proposed a delay until the end of January. We rotate annually. We will send 184 troops and the same number will return,” Malinda said.

She added that Cambodian troops are respected for their mine clearance operations, notably being the first to use vehicles to clear explosive remnants of war in Lebanon.

Before being deployed there, the troops were trained in UN mine clearance standards and taught about the geography of the area they will be working in and health and safety practices.

Cambodia began sending troops to join the UN Interim Force in Lebanon in 2010. No Cambodian peacekeepers have been killed in Lebanon.

The peacekeeping force is made up of troops from the Ministry of National Defence, the General Command of the National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces, Mine and Explosive Remnants of War Clearance Brigade 2, the National Defence University, the Army Command Centre and other units, Malinda said.

Since 2006, Cambodia has sent 5,783 troops, including 277 women, to assist in UN peacekeeping mission. The Kingdom currently has 1,000 peacekeepers deployed in four countries – the Republic of South Sudan, Central African Republic, Lebanon and Mali.

In November last year, four Cambodians were injured, one seriously, in a suicide attack while on a UN peacekeeping mission in Mali. The blast killed three people.

The attack was claimed by the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM), which is the area’s main jihadist group with links to al-Qaeda.

The injured Cambodians had been working as translators for the UN Mine Action Service (Unmas) since November 2014.

MOST VIEWED

  • Rainsy vow to return on Nov 9 dismissed as ‘political warfare’

    An announcement from the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that its “acting president” Sam Rainsy would return to the Kingdom on November 9 was dismissed on Sunday as “political warfare”. The CNRP made the announcement on Friday after a permanent committee meeting chaired by

  • Kingdom rejects VN request

    Cambodia rebuffed Vietnam’s request to provide nationality to its citizens living in Kratie, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri and Stung Treng provinces, with officials saying law enforcement is the Kingdom’s responsibility. Chheang Vun, the head of the National Assembly’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation,

  • Smoke from mattress factory fire seen throughout Phnom Penh

    Plumes of black smoke overtook the skies of the capital as an inferno burned Heng Heng Mattress factory to the ground in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district. The fire began in the main building of the facilities around 1pm, before spreading to adjoining residential buildings

  • Official transferred after pointing at car with foot

    The deputy director of the Siem Reap provincial Registration and Driver’s Licence Unit at the Department of Public Works and Transport who last week pointed at the number plate of a car taken in for a technical check with her foot has been transferred.