Cambodian peacekeepers prepare to leave for Mali and South Sudan, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, April 7, 2015. Cambodia sent 461 military personnel on Tuesday, including 29 females, to join a United Nations peacekeeping mission in the conflict-torn West African nations of Mali and South Sudan. (Xinhua/Sovannara)
Cambodian peacekeepers prepare to leave for Mali and South Sudan, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, April 7, 2015. Cambodia sent 461 military personnel on Tuesday, including 29 females, to join a United Nations peacekeeping mission in the conflict-torn West African nations of Mali and South Sudan. (Xinhua/Sovannara)

Cambodia on Thursday dispatched 428 peacekeepers, including 24 females, to join United Nations peacekeeping missions in the African nations of Mali and South Sudan.

The troops were went as the one-year mission of the fourth batch of 309 troops to Mali and the sixth batch of the 119 troops in South Sudan comes to an end.

Speaking at a departure ceremony held at the Military Airbase here, Gen. Pol Saroeun, commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF), said the peacekeepers included airport engineers, deminers and military medics.

He advised them to strictly abide by the UN rules and disciplines, the RCAF code of ethics, and the host countries’ laws.

“It’s necessary to create good relations with the host countries and peoples and to respect their tradition and custom,” he said.

Alexandre Huynh, representative of the United Nations System in Cambodia, said Mali and South Sudan were a long way from home and this mission would undoubtedly challenge the peacekeepers professionally and personally.

“Your service does great honor to your country, and to Cambodia’s contribution to international peace, security and friendship,” he said.

“The ceremony today reminds us that more than two decades ago UN peacekeeping forces were sent here. But Cambodia now sends troops and expertise to UN peacekeeping operations in many countries to bring peace and stability and to protect civilians,” he said.

Huynh said that since 2006, Cambodia had sent a total of 5,257 troops, including 236 females, to Sudan, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad, Syria, Lebanon, and Mali under the UN framework. Enditem

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