Training for Cambodia’s peacekeeping forces has concluded as the nation prepares to contribute towards the United Nations’ mission in the Republic of South Sudan. An initiative of the National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces [NPMEC], the programme focuses on enhancing their capacity to suppress various crimes.

A month-long training course began on June 1, conducted by a French military academician in Kampong Speu province on June 30. This collaboration between Cambodia and France aims to prepare the Cambodian military police for their forthcoming international peacekeeping roles.

Speaking at the military skills training closing ceremony, General Sem Sovanny, first vice-chairman of the National Coordination Committee and NPMEC director-general, stressed the importance of the training.

“This course is crucial in strengthening the Blue Helmets’ military skills, enabling them to continue their law enforcement and crime suppression roles as assigned by the UN,” he said.

“The training outcomes underscore the diligent efforts to study, comprehend, and absorb the theoretical and practical components of the course,” Sovanny continued. “All this is undertaken with a high level of responsibility, ensuring we meet the real-world needs of our mission area”.

The French embassy’s first secretary in Cambodia, Noémie Pinta, expressed France’s support for the initiative through NPMEC.

“For this ‘Military Police’ course, France provided financial aid and materials,” she said.

“The syllabus centred on various legal provisions, intervention techniques, judicial police officer skills, and security necessities from both a tactical perspective and within the UN framework,” she added.

The course was attended by 35 participants, all from various units of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. Selection criteria required proficiency in French and English and prior peacekeeping experience under the UN’s aegis.

Cambodia has deployed 8,475 peacekeepers on humanitarian missions with the United Nations in nine countries since 2006. These include Sudan, South Sudan, Chad, Lebanon, Syria, Mali, Central Africa, Cyprus, and Yemen, according to NPMEC.