A senior official of the National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces, Mines and ERW Clearance (NPMEC) said Cambodia will host a heavy engineering machinery training project with Japan and the UN. Japan will provide the instructors for the course.

Sem Sovanny, NPMEC director general, made the announcement during a December 19 meeting on the Cambodia-Japan-UN tripartite project with Ichitomo Taninai, deputy chief of mission at the Japanese embassy.

“Cambodia will host a trilateral project – between Japan, the UN and Cambodia – on the operation of heavy engineering machinery,” he said.

Taninai said Japan would provide training to the Cambodian peacekeepers and intended to send an engineering team to the Kingdom.

“To support Cambodia as it hosts the upcoming project, Japan will provide training to the Cambodian blue helmets and send an engineering team to the Kingdom to discuss the training,” he added.

He expected cooperation to grow in the field of peacekeeping, especially in the area of demining.

He commended the Kingdom for sending its soldiers on overseas missions, and praised the country for its efforts to host 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits and related meetings.

Sovanny expressed his gratitude to Japan for its assistance to Cambodia. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Japan’s participation in the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC). Two Japanese were killed during the mission, a policeman and a UN volunteer.

He requested additional training from Japan to strengthen the capacity of the Kingdom’s troops and allow them to contribute even more to the UN.

Since 2006, Cambodia has contributed to peacekeeping missions in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. In that time, it had dispatched 8,475 peacekeepers to humanitarian missions with the UN in nine countries – Sudan, South Sudan, Chad, Lebanon, Syria, Mali, the Central African Republic, Cyprus and Yemen.

Currently, more than 800 Cambodians are on UN peacekeeping missions in South Sudan, Mali, Lebanon and the Central African Republic.