Service and Sacrifice: Malaysian peacekeepers in Lebanon proud to serve their homeland and the United Nations

UNIFIL A UNIFIL radio operator from Malaysia communicates from his armoured personnel carrier while on duty in Marakah, south-west Lebanon. (file)

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Peacekeepers from Malaysia serving under the United Nations flag in Lebanon face a “a totally new experience” according to the commander of the Malaysian contingent in the country.

Currently, 850 military personnel, including 38 women, are deployed to the UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon, known as UNIFIL.

Malaysian peacekeepers have been stationed in the eastern Mediterranean country since January 2007, and a total of 10,840 men and women have served there.

“We assist in the deployment of the Lebanese Armed Forces and conduct training in support of the Government of Lebanon exercising its authority in the UNIFIL area of operation,” said Colonel Azhan bin Hj Md Othman, the commander of the contingent. “The Malaysian presence in Lebanon is important in implementing UNIFIL’s mandate and in ensuring stability in south Lebanon.”

UNIFIL was created by the United Nations Security Council in March 1978 to confirm the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore international peace and security and assist the Lebanese Government in restoring its authority in the area.

The role of UNIFIL has evolved in line with developments in the region and the mission now also monitors the cessation of hostilities, accompanies and supports the Lebanese Armed Forces and helps to ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations as well as the voluntary and safe return of displaced people.

Overall, there are some 10,300 peacekeepers serving in the mission, including the Malaysian troops. These peacekeepers, who work alongside the Lebanese Army and host communities, have helped to ensure that the area, roughly 10 times the size of Paris, has enjoyed nearly 13 years of peace.

Wisdom and tolerance

“There are challenges for our troops,” according to Colonel Azhan. “It’s important we maintain our credibility and legitimacy by remaining impartial throughout our operations as we continue our cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces.  Consolidating our relationship with local leaders and civilians is also a key part of our mission here and must be carried out with meticulous thinking, wisdom and tolerance.”

Of the 38 women presently on mission in Lebanon, four are officers and the remainder come from other ranks. “Women in the Malaysian contingent play a significant role especially in conducting certain activities such as market walks and medical support for local communities,” says Colonel Azhan. “They are also involved in operational activities such as foot and vehicle patrols.”


“The presence of women during these activities is definitely helpful in gaining the trust and confidence of the local female population towards UN peacekeepers. The women and girls from the host communities are comfortable with the Malaysian female peacekeepers due to our background and their respect for the local culture and religion.”

New experience

Troops sent by Malaysia to UNIFIL generally spend one year in Lebanon. The next rotation is in September 2019.

“Serving under the UN Flag is a totally new experience for me and my troops. A lot of preparation is carried out ahead of our deployment. Promoting peace and conducting peacekeeping operations away from the homeland is very challenging and demanding. We are truly very proud to serve our country and the United Nations,” adds Colonel Azhan.

A total of four Malaysian peacekeepers have lost their lives since 2007 while on mission with UNIFIL.










the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

War of words in Davos over Eurozone’s inflation/deflation

Sweden’s forests have doubled in size over the last 100 years

We have a space debris problem. Here’s how to solve it

Climate negotiations on the road to a strong Paris agreement rulebook

Better housing means better health and well-being, stress new WHO guidelines

Trump’s Russian affair spills over and upsets Europe

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “If we do not do properly the Paris agreement, then all 16 remaining goals will be undermined”, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon cautions from Davos

3 megatrends for the factories of the future

EU economy: Between recession and indiscernible growth

Merry Christmas from Erdogan, Putin, Mogherini and the Polish firefighter

It’s a week dedicated to all EU budgets; seven days that can make or break the Union

Five things everybody needs to know about the future of Journalism

FROM THE FIELD: Heeding the call for women’s rights around the planet

“Be aware where you put your I Agree signature on and something else”; now Facebook by default opts you in an unseen private data bazar

Crimea, a wicked game of political chess and a ‘big’ coincidence

These 4 Nordic countries hold the secret to gender equality

Bangladesh: Head of UN refugee agency calls on Asia-Pacific leaders to show ‘solidarity’ with Rohingya refugees

Vegans in France are using extreme tactics to stop people eating meat

Brexit update: Leave campaign leads race but undecided voters will determine the outcome of the EU referendum

We need greater protection for our oceans. We can’t let politics stand in the way

Re-thinking citizenship education: bringing young people back to the ballot box

The shrinking Arctic ice protects us all. It’s time to act

LED lights could stop turtles and birds from drowning in fishing nets

The Chinese film boom luring Hollywood’s stars

New migration pact highlights key role of business in protecting migrants, say UN experts

4 ways to cyberproof your business during mergers & acquisitions

Why and how did ISIS and Muslim fundamentalism gain momentum this year?

What makes America the world’s most competitive economy?

Attack on UN compound in Somalia may be ‘violation of international humanitarian law’

Draghi proposes timeframe for full Banking Union in five years

3 ways business leaders can build digital trust

Entrepreneurship and strategic planning: the enabler

Security Council extends mandate of UN Interim Force in Lebanon for a year

Online radio and news broadcasts: Parliament and Council reach deal

There are now four competing visions of the internet. How should they be governed?

French elections: by the time the EU economy revives and the migration crisis is solved extremists could take over Europe

“16+1” Cooperation injects new vigor into China-Europe cooperation

Horn of Africa: UN chief welcomes Djibouti agreement between Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia

UN chief hails Libyan leaders’ agreement to hold general election

Key Brazilian border crossing for Venezuela refugees reopens as asylum numbers pass last year’s total

Financial Transaction Tax: More money for future bank bailouts?

Guinea-Bissau needs ‘genuinely free and fair elections’ to break cycle of instability

Cum-ex tax fraud scandal: MEPs call for inquiry, justice, and stronger tax authorities

EU-China relations under investigation?

UN chief urges Hamas and Israel to ‘step back from the brink of another devastating conflict’ in Gaza

Parliament supports plans to improve quality of tap water and cut plastic litter

Rising political extremism in Europe escapes control

How can entrepreneurship tackle the migration crisis in the EU?

Migration crisis, a human crisis after all

Everything you need to know about Ireland’s economy (Post Brexit)

MWC 2016 LIVE: Gamelab founder talks Apple TV, VR and monetisation

Climate change and health: an everyday solution

Stricter rules and tougher sanctions for market manipulation and financial fraud

16 foods that are good for you – and the planet

Preparing the future today: World Health Organisation and young doctors

European banking stress tests 2014: A more adverse approach for a shorter banking sector

Conflicting statistics and bad banks haunt the Eurozone

EU-Turkey relations: Will Turkey manage to revive the EU accession process talks?

UK economy in dire straits: leading banks now officially plan to Brexit too

UN chief ‘deeply alarmed’ over military offensive in south-west Syria

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s