Military Prepares to Send Peacekeepers to Lebanon

Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) Commander in Chief Pol Saroeun presided over a ceremony at the Phnom Penh Military Airbase on Thursday ahead of the deployment of 184 peacekeepers to Lebanon next week.

General Saroeun said the group of outgoing peacekeepers would leave on Tuesday next week with troops currently deployed in Lebanon returning on Wednesday.

A member of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces salutes at a ceremony ahead of the deployment of 184 soldiers on a peacekeeping mission to Lebanon next week. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
A member of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces salutes at a ceremony ahead of the deployment of 184 soldiers on a peacekeeping mission to Lebanon next week. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

At a ceremony in October, ahead of the deployment of 196 peacekeepers to the Central African Republic, Defense Minister Tea Banh raised his concern over their possible exposure to Ebola.

His concern was echoed Thursday by a number of the RCAF forces preparing to head off to Lebanon next week, despite their destination being a continent away from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

“I have no worry about working to clear mines because I have more than 10 years of experience in demining, but I still fear Ebola,” said Chra Nou, 48, who was among the peacekeepers at the ceremony. Tong Sina, a 30-year-old peacekeeper, had another concern.

“I am worried about the weather because this month is winter in [Lebanon], so it will be so cold.”

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