Cambodia has dispatched 184 soldiers to a UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon to take over from Cambodia’s blue hat forces there.
A sending-off ceremony for the peacekeepers was held at the Phnom Penh Military Airbase on Thursday, attended by Defence Minister General Tea Banh, United Nations resident coordinator to Cambodia Claire Van der Vaeren as well as numerous military officials and family members of the peacekeepers.
As reported by Khmer Times, unit 963, the eighth military engineering unit to be deployed to Lebanon, will replace Unit 369 and will be tasked with improving military infrastructure in the country, General Banh said.
Gen Banh noted that the mission provided valuable opportunities for the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces to strengthen and enlarge its own capacity, as well as demonstrated Cambodia’s support for UN peacekeeping missions.
“This really reflects the significant contribution and the strong commitment of the Cambodian government,” Gen Banh said to Khmer Times.
He added that since 2006 Cambodia has sent almost 5,000 troops on UN peacekeeping missions to eight countries – Sudan, South Sudan, Chad, the CAR, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus and Mali.
This makes Cambodia the third largest contributor to UN peacekeeping missions in ASEAN, Ms Van der Vaeren said.