A GROUP of 42 Cambodian soldiers has departed for UN peacekeeping missions in Chad and the Central African Republic, the United Nations announced Monday.
The troops were drawn from the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces’ Movement Control Contingent 306, a unit specially trained for UN peacekeeping operations, and will serve overseas for one year following their departure Saturday, officials said.
“Cambodia can be proud of the changes that have made this day possible,” said UN Resident Coordinator Douglas Broderick in a press release. “It is remarkable to see the transition this country has made from being a country where peacekeeping forces were required, to becoming a contributor to UN peacekeeping operations.”
Cambodia’s first major contribution to UN peacekeeping efforts began in 2006, when the Kingdom sent its first mine-clearance team to Sudan’s Darfur region. Trained to remove decades’ worth of mines and unexploded ordnance within Cambodia’s borders, the RCAF delegation proved an especially effective and spirited component of the UN’s presence in Sudan, UN officials have said. Cambodia continues to send teams to Sudan, with more than 468 deminers having served one-year tours of duty there so far.
Over the same period, Cambodia has also sent 197 officers to train in the tactics of multinational peacekeeping in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Mongolia.