Cambodian blue helmets arrive in South Sudan

17 Apr 2012

Cambodian blue helmets arrive in South Sudan

17 April 2012 - To further bolster UNMISS peacekeeping efforts in South Sudan, two Cambodian military companies landed at Juba International Airport today.

Comprising police and medical troops, the companies are the second group of UNMISS military to deploy (rather than be rolled over from the previous UN Mission in Sudan) after the Japanese, who arrived in February.

"We have two companies," said Cambodian Military Police Commanding Officer Colonel Chan Dararith. "(In the) military police company, we have 73 troops and (for the) Level 2 Hospital, we have 76 troops."

He said they were happy to be in South Sudan to help build the new nation. "We have five groups made up of 10 troops. We will be in Juba, Wau, Malakal, Nassir and Bentiu."

But the medical troops will only be based in Juba headquarters UNMISS hospital, according to their commanding officer, Col. Yamako Nong.

"We (are here to) support the staff of (the) UN Mission in South Sudan with medical care," said Col. Nong, adding that they hoped to also offer support to South Sudanese people.

He noted that the medical personnel included general practitioners, dentists, surgeons (abdominal, orthopaedic and dental) and a pharmacist.

The Cambodian medics, who are replacing the outgoing Bangladeshi medical troops, expected to leave at the end of April, will begin to offer basic medical services within seven days.

They hope to be fully operational within four weeks, once they have completed setting up all their medical equipment for surgical procedures, Col. Nong said.

As mandated by the Security Council, UNMISS will consist of up to 7,000 military personnel.

Rwandan troops, expected on 18 April, will be deployed within the Equatoria region, to be followed by Mongolian troops at the end of this month.