Cambodia dispatches 2nd batch of military personnel to South Sudan for peacekeeping operations

2013-04-04 02:56:24 GMT2013-04-04 10:56:24(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

PHNOM PENH, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Thursday sent the second batch of 152 military police and medics to South Sudan in order to take part in the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations.

The group including 10 female will replace the first batch's forces who have completed a one-year peacekeeping mission in that country.

Speaking at a departure ceremony at the Military Airbase in Phnom Penh, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Tea Banh said the government of Cambodia has strongly determined in contributing to the humanitarian affairs for building and maintaining peace through the process of sending troops to the United Nations Peacekeeping Operation missions.

Meanwhile, he advised them to strictly respect South Sudan's independence and sovereignty and have to work actively to achieve this humanitarian mission.

"You have to remember that your identity at this time is not only representing the Cambodian peacekeeping forces, but also peacekeeping forces for ASEAN," he said. "Therefore, you have to behave well in order to maintain national dignity and to bring the fame of Cambodia to international arena."

In South Sudan, the military personnel will conduct humanitarian duties such as security and public order preparation and intervention, while the military medics will provide healthcare to peacekeepers, diplomatic corps, humanitarian organization staff and Sudanese.

Marc Derveeuw, Coordinator of the United Nations Development Program to Cambodia, said only 20 years ago, UN peacekeepers supported Cambodia to recover from conflict. Now, Cambodia is a country that helps other countries to recover from conflict.

"Your dedication to helping others, sharing your skills with another country that has suffered from conflict, will be a source of inspiration to many," he said at the departure ceremony.

He said that to date, the UN has almost 120,000 personnel from 114 countries serving on 15 peace operations on four continents, directly impacting the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

Cambodia firstly sent its peacekeepers abroad in 2006. To date, the country has sent about 1,600 troops to Sudan, South Sudan, Chad, Central Africa, Lebanon and Syria for humanitarian and demining operations.

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