Pol Saroeun, a Senior Minister in charge of sending troops to UN peace-keeping missions, made this known at a send-off for the troops held at the Phnom Penh International Airport.

“The troops will substitute the fifth batch, whose one-year term has come to an end.

“The peace-keepers are divided into two groups. One will be responsible for airport repairs and maintenance and the other will be in charge of explosive ordinance disposal.

“Although it is a high risk mission in Mali due to ongoing armed conflicts and threats from terrorism, our peace-keepers have never moved back because it is a common cause for peace and humanity,” Saroeun said.

He advised the batch to strictly abide by the UN discipline and the Cambodian army’s rules while performing their duties in Mali.

In her remarks, UN Resident Coordinator in Cambodia, Pauline Tamesis, said that Mali was a long way from home and that the mission would undoubtedly challenge the peace-keepers 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 that since 2006, Cambodia had dispatched a total of 6,053 personnel, including 295 women, to join UN peace-keeping missions in Sudan, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad, Syria, Cyprus, Lebanon and Mali.

Edited by Fatima Sule and Olisa Ifeajika