They will replace the third batch of military engineers who have fulfilled their one-year mission in Lebanon and are scheduled to return home on Dec. 20.
The send-off ceremony was held this morning at Phnom Penh Military Airbase this morning under the presidency of Commander-In-Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) H.E. Gen. Pol Saroeun and H.E. Ms. Claire Van der Vaeren, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for the Kingdom of Cambodia.
Clearing landmines, constructing roads, bridges, shelters and defense posts, producing drinking water, and providing medical treatment to Lebanese people are part of their duties, said Gen. Pol Saroeun.
Moreover, he advised the group to work hard and to fulfill their duties with high responsibility, to strictly comply with all the RCAF’s rules and disciplines and international laws as well as to respect the Lebanon’s sovereignty and independence.
For her part, H.E. Ms. Claire Van der Vaeren highly appreciated Cambodia for its active contribution in the UN peacekeeping missions. “20 years ago, UN peacekeeping forces were dispatched to Cambodia, but now Cambodia becomes a country that sends troops and expertise to join UN peacekeeping operations,” she underlined.
Since 2006, Cambodia has sent over 1,600 troops to take part in the UN peacekeeping missions in Sudan, South Sudan, Chad, Central Africa and Lebanon. According to Ms. Vaeren, the last three batches of 654 peacekeepers in Lebanon have cleared landmines and fragments from more than 2 million square meters of the Lebanese soil, constructed roads, bridges, defense posts for their fellow peacekeepers, and provided medical treatment and clean water to Lebanese people.
On Dec. 11, a group of 15 soldiers was sent to Lebanon as an advance team to manage all equipment and supplies being handed over by the third batch.