Civil war to UN peacekeepers: Can Cambodia’s blue helmets find peace – for themselves?

Fuelled by a sense of debt from its civil war, Cambodia makes an outsized contribution to UN peacekeeping. Some of its forces have paid the ultimate price – while those who return must deal with the trauma alone.

It was after nightfall when a spray of bullets raked the convoy of trucks carrying Cambodian peacekeeper Thuch Thim. He and his fellow blue helmets had been returning from building a road in the heart of the Central African Republic when they encountered a series of roadblocks set up by guerilla fighters. For hours, they negotiated, making it through the first two encounters unscathed. Then the shooting began.

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