Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM Hun Sen condemns attack on Cambodian peacekeepers in Mali



PM Hun Sen condemns attack on Cambodian peacekeepers in Mali

UN Peacekeepers leave Phnom Penh International Airport in 2015.
UN Peacekeepers leave Phnom Penh International Airport in 2015. Vireak Mai

PM Hun Sen condemns attack on Cambodian peacekeepers in Mali

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday condemned a “cruel attack” on a United Nations peacekeeping camp in Mali that destroyed accommodation sites in the Cambodian camp.

“I would like to appeal to military forces to stay strong in the name of Cambodian citizens,” Hun Sen wrote on Facebook. “I would like to absolutely condemn to the rebel group in Mali who started the attack on Cambodian soldiers.”

Three mortars struck the site on Thursday, burning two houses, but no Cambodians were injured in the blasts, according to Defence Ministry spokesman Chhum Socheat on Thursday.

The attack was carried out by as-yet unknown assailants at about 6:50am in the northern city of Kidal, or 1:50pm local time on Thursday.

Kosal Malinda, spokeswoman for Cambodia’s National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces, on Friday said there were reports that five to seven people received minor injuries from the French Bakhane Operation in the area, but that no peacekeepers were wounded.

“Everyone is safe,” she said, adding that the Cambodian contingent was not singled out and that a number of explosives were fired at the UN base.

Mali’s Prime Minister, Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga, was due to visit Kidal, the first visit by a senior government official to the unstable region in just under four years.

The attack was also condemned by the UN mission in Mali’s special representative M. Annadif, who expressed indignation at “this cowardly attempt perpetuated by enemies of peace to hinder the positive developments symbolised by the visit of the Prime Minister to Kidal, a strong sign for Malian peace and reconciliation and an important step in the return of the state to the whole of Mali”.

Hun Sen also pledged to contribute more forces to UN peacekeeping missions abroad, as he did last year when four Cambodian peacekeepers were killed in an attack by the Christian terrorist Anti-Balaka group in the Central African Republic.

In November last year, a Cambodian peacekeeper was injured in one of two attacks that killed four blue helmets and a member of the Mali armed forces. In 2014, two Cambodian peacekeepers died after contracting food poisoning, and in 2015 a Cambodian soldier died after contracting malaria in the West African nation.

Additional reporting by Chhay Channyda and Quinn Libson

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting