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Kingdom demining team set for Sudan deployment

Kingdom demining team set for Sudan deployment

090522_02.jpg
090522_02.jpg

Group will be the fourth sent to demine in the war-torn country.

Photo by:

Tracey Shelton

Soldiers train earlier this month at the Cambodian Mine Action Centre in Kampong Speu prior to deployment next month to Sudan.

 

A CAMBODIAN demining team is set to depart for Sudan next month, where it will offer its services as part of a multinational UN peacekeeping force, military officials said Thursday.

Chan Dararith, deputy director of human resources of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, said 10 of the deminers were scheduled to depart the country on June 1, with the rest to follow on June 10.

The current group is the fourth to be dispatched to Sudan since 2006, he said, during which time 468 Cambodians have served as deminers in the war-torn African country.

Deminer Taing Bunkry, 42, one of the team bound for Sudan, said he was proud to participate in the UN operation and help other countries rid themselves of the danger of anti-personnel land mines.

"I am very proud that I have a chance to participate in the humanitarian demining group to help clear Sudan of mines," he told the Post Thursday.

   THEY NOT ONLY HELP DEFEND THE NATION BUT CAN ALSO HELP WITH the UN's... OPERATIONS.

Taing Bunkry, who has 15 years' experience in demining operations and was part of the second team of deminers sent to Sudan in 2007,

expected that he would gain additional experience from his second tour of duty in the region.

Proud service

Troops who have been on previous tours to Sudan also spoke of the value of the experience and the satisfaction of contributing overseas.

Kim Sopheap, 42, who has served as a military physician for 25 years and was part of the demining group in 2007, said she was very happy because one of her relatives has also been selected to go to Sudan as an assistant physician.

She added that she also had one son and three relatives serving as soldiers, who were now getting training as deminers and peacekeepers at the governement's Institute for Peacekeeping Forces, Mine and Explosive Remains of War Clearance.

"I am very happy to have one of my relatives go to Sudan," she said.

"And I am very happy to have my son and relatives serve as soldiers. They not only help defend the nation but can also help with the UN's humanitarian operations."  

Sem Sovann Rith, who participated in the 2006 tour to Sudan, said he would be happy to participate in any future missions if appointed by RCAF authorities.

"I am always ready to go and demine in other countries," he said, adding that Cambodians - due to their own tragic experiences with land mines - were well-positioned to help out other countries. 

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