Cambodia will dispatch an engineering force to join a UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, Ministry of Defence spokesman Chhum Socheat told The Post on Wednesday.
The engineering force is the fifth team sent by Cambodia to participate in a peacekeeping mission there. It will consist of 216 peacekeeping troopers, 10 of which are women.
On November 2, there will be a send-off ceremony at Phnom Penh’s Pochentong military air base.
One day later 73 peacekeeping troops will return to Cambodia from a mission in South Sudan.
Their homecoming ceremony will be presided over by Defence Minister Tea Banh.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Wednesday during a meeting with more than 6,000 garment workers from Mok Kampoul district, Kandal province, that previous peacekeeping missions to other countries had been successful.
Since 2006, Cambodia has sent more than 5,000 troopers to serve in UN peacekeeping missions in Africa and the Middle East. But not all returned home alive.
A deadly attack in the Central African Republic last year killed four of the Kingdom’s peacekeepers.
During another attack on a Cambodian base in Mali, the troop’s logistics equipment was destroyed.
Despite that, Prime Minister Hun Sen thinks it’s Cambodia’s duty to continue participating in international peacekeeping efforts and to increase the number of troops. He refers to the recent Cambodian history when UN peacekeepers came to Cambodia, putting an end to the civil war after the 1991 Paris agreement was signed.