Cambodia has deployed troops up to 309 personnel, the largest number of troops deployed in one mission, to participate in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, a West African country.
The send-off ceremony was held this morning at Phnom Penh Military Airbase under the presidency of H.E. Gen. Tea Banh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense, and H.E. Ms. Claire Van der Vaeren, UN Resident Coordinator.
This is the very first time that Cambodia dispatched troops to Mali since 2006, said H.E. Prak Sokhonn, Minister of Post and Telecommunications and Chairman of the National Coordination Committee for Sending Troops to UN Peacekeeping Operations.
This first batch consists of 165 personnel of Airfield Engineering Unit 819 and 144 personnel of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Unit 213.
These forces will be deployed to three different locations such as EOD unit to Gao, a central region of Mali, and Airfield Engineer to Kidal and Tessalit airfields, north of the country, he said, adding that the two units will coordinate with Chinese contingent and troops of African Union.
H.E. Tea Banh said peacekeeping operation is a strong determination of the Royal Government of Cambodia. It is part of enlarging international relations and cooperation even though Cambodia is still releasing itself from poverty.
“Your service does great honor to your country, the Kingdom of Cambodia, a country that deeply understands the importance of peace, security and friendship,” said H.E. Ms. Claire Van der Vaeren on the occasion. “By contributing to UN peacekeeping missions, Cambodia is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with nations committed to building peace around the world.”
Since 2006, Cambodia has sent over 1,800 personnel to UN peacekeeping missions in Sudan, Central Africa, Chad, Lebanon, Syria, South Sudan, Cyprus and this time Mali.