Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, has reaffirmed the royal government’s commitment and contribution to the world peace even though Cambodian peacekeepers were killed during their mission under the UN umbrella.
“Yesterday, we lost four peacekeepers in mission in Central African Republic,” said Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the celebration of the 10th Cambodian Veteran Day held here this morning.
The Cambodian premier called on the UN to redeploy the peacekeeping forces there because the Cambodian peacekeepers there are not combat forces. “Anyway, Cambodia will continue to support and contribute to the peace seeking process,” he underlined.
“We don’t give up, we’re ready to continue dispatching our peacekeeping forces to assist our foreign friends. We don’t surrender to any violation. We’d like to inform the UN that we’ll strengthen our forces for its peacekeeping operations,” Samdech Techo Hun Sen affirmed.
This morning, Cambodia’s Ministry of National Defence made public a press release confirming that the three Cambodian peacekeepers missing in action were found dead.
According to the press release, a total of four Cambodian soldiers – Sergeant Major Im Sam, a bulldozer driver; Second Lieutenant Seang Norin, a quality control assistant; Second Lieutenant Mao Eng, a medical staff, and Sergeant Major Mom Tola, an excavator driver assistant – were killed during the attack in the south of Central African Republic on May 8, at night, while the other one – Sergeant Major Thuch Thim, a truck driver – was injured.
At the same event, Samdech Techo Hun Sen announced to send a delegation of the Ministry of National Defence to the Central African Republic to study this case.
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) strongly condemned this attack. “MINUSCA vigorously denounces this odious attack on peacekeepers whose presence on Central African soil has no other objective than to help the country to protect its population and to allow the Central African Republic to emerge from the cycle of violence caused by armed groups,” it said.
MINUSCA is closely coordinating with Central African Republic officials to ensure that the perpetrators of this cowardly attack are arrested and brought to justice. MINUSCA recalls that “harming the life of a peacekeeper can be considered a war crime and subject to prosecution.”
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of MINUSCA Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, extends “deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family of the victims,” and expresses his “immense gratitude for the work and sacrifices of the peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.”
Since 2006, Cambodia has sent a total of 4,459 troops for the UN peacekeeping operations in Sudan, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad, Syria, Lebanon, Mali, and Cyprus.