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.
Speaking at a sending-off ceremony held at the capital's Military Airbase, Gen. Pol Saroeun, commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, said the peacekeepers included airport engineers, deminers and medics.
"Your mission represents Cambodia, so you all must strictly comply with the rules and disciplines of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, international laws and host country's laws, and avoid any activity that can negatively affect the standards of living, tradition and custom, and dignity of the host country," said the commander.
Roger Carter, U.N. Security Advisor to Cambodia, said Mali and South Sudan are a long way from home and this mission would undoubtedly challenge the peacekeepers professionally and personally.
"Your service does great honor to your country, a country dedicated to international peace, security and friendship. Through its contribution to the United Nations Peacekeeping missions, Cambodia stands out as an example to the world," Carter said.
He said since 2006, Cambodia has sent a total of 2,816 personnel, including 81 females, to Sudan, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad, Syria, Lebanon and Mali.