Cambodian peacekeepers board a plane in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, May 17, 2019. Cambodia sent the sixth batch of 298 troops, including 25 women, to join a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission in the war-torn West African nation of Mali on Friday. (Xinhua/Sovannara)
PHNOM PENH, May 17 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia sent the sixth batch of 298 troops, including 25 women, to join a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission in the war-torn West African nation of Mali on Friday.
The troops would substitute the fifth batch, whose one-year term had come to an end, Pol Saroeun, a senior minister in charge of sending troops to the UN peacekeeping missions, said during a sending-off ceremony held at the Phnom Penh International Airport.
The peacekeepers are divided into two groups. One will be responsible for airport repairs and maintenance and the other will be in charge of explosive ordnance disposal.
"Although it is a high risk mission in Mali due to ongoing armed conflicts and threats from terrorism, our peacekeepers have never moved back because it is a common cause for peace and humanity," Saroeun said.
He instructed the batch to strictly abide by the UN discipline and the Cambodian army's rules when they perform their duties in Mali.
UN Resident Coordinator in Cambodia Pauline Tamesis said Mali was a long way from home and the mission would undoubtedly challenge the peacekeepers professionally and personally.
"Your dedication to helping others, to share your skills with other countries that are suffering from conflict, is invaluable and a great source of hope and inspiration to many," she said.
She said since 2006, Cambodia has dispatched a total of 6,053 personnel, including 295 women, to join UN peacekeeping missions in Sudan, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad, Syria, Cyprus, Lebanon and Mali.
"Cambodia remains one of the largest contributing countries in the ASEAN with 797 Cambodian peacekeepers, including 54 women, currently deployed in several countries in Africa and the Middle East," she said.