Cambodian Troops Leave for UN Lebanon Mission

The 6th group of Lebanon-bound Cambodian peacekeepers departed from Phnom Penh on Saturday morning for a one-year deployment as part of the U.N.’s Interim Force in Lebanon.

The 184 engineering and demining peacekeepers will be based in the southern district of Marjayoun and have replaced the current peacekeepers who returned to Cambodia on Sunday afternoon, said Malinda Kosal, spokeswoman for the National Center for Peacekeeping Forces.

“They will focus on horizontal and vertical construction,” she said.

“But then attached to the engineering unit we have manual and mechanical demining [forces] as well.”

Despite peacekeepers being stationed close to the current civil war in Syria, Ms. Kosal said they were not in danger, stating that “all of our troops are safe.”

She explained that Cambodian peacekeepers are currently active in South Sudan, Central African Republic and Mali, with the next planned deployment in April being a company of airfield engineers for explosive ordnance disposal in Mali.

Cambodia has sent peacekeepers on U.N. missions since 2005, and according to Ms. Kosal has suffered four fatalities in that period, all in Mali over the past two years.

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