via Khmer NZ News Media
June 22, 2010
After spending for a year in mission abroad, 94 Cambodian deminers and military police returned home on Tuesday.
Tea Banh, deputy prime minister and minister of national defense, welcomed the 94 returnees at Phnom Penh Military Airport.
He said 52 deminers had spent more than one year in Sudan, while another 42 security officers for social order spent almost eight months for their missions in Chad and Central African Republic.
"We are gathering together today for proudly congratulating for the safe home-coming of the 405-1 Royal Cambodian Armed Forces' Demining Company and it is the fourth time that our sacred forces has brought home dignity and success from the U.N mission in Sudan and also the great success of the movement control unit 306 returning before the schedule from Chad and Central African Republic," Tea Banh said.
He further said that "our mission is to fulfill our job with gratitude and international ethics for all mankind and peace."
Prak Sokhon, advisor to Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, and chairman of National Coordination Committee of U.N. Peacekeeping Operation, said Tuesday that, since 2005, 568 Cambodians have been sent to Sudan, Chad, and Central African Republic in the form of the U.N. peace keeping operation.
Over the past four years, Prak Sokhon said, Cambodian peace keeping operators have cleared land covered by landmines and unexploded ordinance for about 77 million square meters, 2,546 land mines, 220 anti-tank mines, 59,108 pieces of unexploded ordnance, and 118,913 pieces of shrapnel.
On Sunday, Cambodia dispatched 52 deminers, replacing the 52 returnees in a way to continue international cooperation and obligation as a state member of the United Nations.
As of now, none of Cambodian deminers ever met incident in their mission abroad, said Prak Sokhonhe, adding that they were qualified and skillful with their demining techniques.
Cambodia is also working with the United Nations in a plan to dispatch some 200 Cambodian troops as peacekeepers to Lebanon.