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Defence minister addresses UN force heading to South Sudan

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The pep talk came at an event at the Training Centre for Peacekeeping Forces and Explosive Remnants of War Clearance (NPMEC-ERW) in Kampong Speu province’s Odong district. Photo supplied

Defence minister addresses UN force heading to South Sudan

Minister of National Defense Tea Banh on Monday encouraged a Cambodian UN peacekeeping force preparing to ship out to South Sudan to strengthen internal unity.

The pep talk came at an event at the Training Centre for Peacekeeping Forces and Explosive Remnants of War Clearance (NPMEC-ERW) in Kampong Speu province’s Odong district.

Banh urged the troops to strengthen cooperation with UN forces from other countries by participating in social work activities for peace and humanity.

Khieu Chhen, the deputy director of Banh’s cabinet, told The Post the minister also encouraged Military Police Company No186 to strengthen and expand their knowledge through the exchange of technical work experience with UN experts and officers from other countries.

“As the whole world is currently facing the Covid-19 pandemic, minister Tea Banh has instructed all of our Blue Helmet forces, especially those who prepare for a mission under the UN umbrella outside the country, to effectively implement the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on hygiene to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” Chhen said.

NPMEC-ERW spokeswoman Kosal Malinda told The Post on Monday that on September 11-12, Cambodia will also send an additional 218 troops to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali.

Cambodia sent 80 peacekeepers to the country for an airport engineering shift mission last month.

The company heading to South Sudan is undergoing technical training at the NPMEC-ERW training centre in Odong district and expected to leave in October.

“We have received preliminary information from our team working in South Sudan that the shift will take place in early October, but we have not yet been notified by the UN yet,” Malinda said.

Cambodia has a total of 678 peacekeepers carrying out UN missions in four countries – Mali, South Sudan, Central Africa and Lebanon.

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