Cambodia on Thursday sent 184 blue helmets on a peacekeeping mission to Lebanon, where they will join troops from other UN members.
A send-off ceremony was held on Wednesday for the soldiers, who come from the Engineering Force 396 and the mine-clearing division.
The event, held at the Training Centre for Multinational Peacekeeping Forces in Kampong Speu province, was presided over by Senior Minister Pol Saroeun.
“I expect these troops to honour the traditions and customs of the country where they are deployed, and to assist and protect people, distribute food and treat the ill.
“These are the virtues of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) that our soldiers must uphold,” Saroeun said.
The troops must also adhere to the virtues of solidarity and discipline, follow the law and protect the honour of the RCAF, he said, adding that of the 184 soldiers, 24 are women.
Saroeun encouraged the troops to use their time abroad to hone their skills, gain more knowledge on geopolitics, and learn new languages. Saroeun warned the soldiers to keep an eye out and protect themselves in cases of violent conflict, natural disasters, and infectious diseases.
Cambodia’s National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces (NPMEC) spokeswoman Kosal Malinda could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
She previously told The Post that all Cambodian blue helmets are trained according to UN standards. The troops have received extensive training on mine clearing, geography and first aid.
“Our troops have been the object of admiration. Cambodian blue helmets were the first ones to use advanced equipment to clear mines in Lebanon,” she said.
This is the 14th year that the Kingdom has dispatched forces to missions under the UN umbrella. A total of 6,557 Cambodian soldiers have joined UN missions in nine countries – Sudan, South Sudan, Lebanon, Cyprus, Syria, Chad, Mali, Central African Republic and Yemen.