Cambodia: Giving back to UN peacekeeping

UNMISS/Isaac Billy Colonel Channy Vongvannak, Commander of the Cambodian Force Military Police of UNMISS, inspects a water purification plant within the Cambodian quarters.

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


It’s an overcast morning, in South Sudan’s capital Juba, and growling thunder announces the start of some light rain. Standing in the drizzle in his military police uniform, is Colonel Channy Vongvannak, the commander of the Cambodian Force Military Police at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

He is inspecting a water purification plant within the Cambodian quarters where his troops process potable water for their daily use.

“Every day in our water treatment plant, we produce about 10,000 litres of clean, drinking water,” says Colonel Vongvannak, water which is available to all staff at the mission.

It’s not the responsibility of the Cambodian contingent to process the water for UN colleagues, but it is an indication of a cooperative and collegial approach to peacekeeping, which is born of a recent historical link.

“Cambodia received peacekeeping troops in 1993, and we feel that we have to contribute in the same way as other countries did when they worked in the UN mission in our country,” remembers Colonel Vongvannak. “So, we understand that countries and people suffer during conflict – and they need help.”

UN peacekeepers from around the world were deployed to Cambodia between February 1992 and September 1993 as part of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) which was established to ensure implementation of a political settlement of the conflict in the south-east Asian country.

In South Sudan since 2012

Cambodia has sent seven contingents to South Sudan. The Cambodian Military Police have been deploying to UNMISS since 2012. This is Colonel Vongvannak’s fourth rotation.

The current contingent numbers 70 personnel including ten women, deployed in several locations across the eastern African country. To date, some 550 personnel including 48 women have served under the blue flag at UNMISS.

Colonel Vongvannak first deployed to South Sudan as Deputy Commanding Officer just before December 2013 when the country plunged into conflict as fighting erupted between rival factions.

Crisis

Working around the clock during the conflict was normal according to Colonel Vongvannak. “During the crisis, we had been tasked to guard the perimeter of the protection of civilians camp 24 hours a day. This was a challenge because we are not trained to deal with civilians,” he said.

Working with other UNMISS contingents, “we provided internal security, we carried out search operations, cordoned off areas identified as dangerous, and where weapons were being smuggled.”

Traffic regulations

As the Colonel walks around the Cambodian compound, he encounters four military police officers or MPs who are on the way to inspect the cargo of troops leaving the country.

“Exporting indigenous wood, animal parts like elephant tusks, are prohibited,” says, Chief Warrant Officer, Heang Sokly as she begins the cargo check.

The MPs also monitor vehicle speeds within the UNMISS compound. Speed-guns, bright red cones, whistles, indicator sticks, radios and white gloves are the tell-tale signs that they are at work.

The MPs stop a few drivers exceeding the speed limit, and those not wearing seat-belts, who are politely reminded about traffic regulations. Sometimes, they also breathalyze staff who are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol.

A colleague, Captain Mon Sinang adds, “we are not here to penalize, but to remind staff of their safety.”

Road accidents involving UN staff in Juba can increase with new arrivals who are unused to the general driving conditions in the city.

In addition to enforcing UNMISS traffic regulations, the MPs work to ensure law and order prevails amongst civilian and military and police personnel, conduct accident investigations and are sometimes called in to assist the mission’s Special Investigations Unit.

In addition to contributing to UN peacekeeping operations in South Sudan, Cambodia currently also has personnel deployed in UN missions in the Central African Republic, Mali, Lebanon and Abiyei.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

OECD joins with Japan to fight financial crime by establishing new academy

IMF to teach Germany a Greek lesson

Blockchain is becoming key for global trade – but is that a gift for hackers?

How the tech world could make nonprofits a more powerful force

EU consumer rules: Airbnb cooperates with European Commission and EU consumer authorities improving the way it presents offers

The European Union’s road to sustainability – how each EU state is doing

UN chief welcomes South Sudan’s Unity government, lauds parties for ‘significant achievement’

From me to we: COVID-19 heralds a new model of entrepreneurship

Monday’s Daily Brief: the cost of maternal healthcare, Sudan and Chad updates, sustainability in focus

EU Climate Law: MEPs confirm deal on climate neutrality by 2050

Sahel States need international support ‘now more than ever’– UN peacekeeping chief

Nuclear test ban treaty critical to global collective security – UN chief

If airlines were a country they’d be one of the world’s top 10 greenhouse gas emitters

The status of the Code of Medical Ethics: loading

From landlocked to land-linked: how the UN is helping some of the world’s poorest countries

Lagarde’s metamorphoses, not a laughing matter

South African women’s fury at gender-based attacks spills onto the streets

Air pollution: How to end the deaths of 7 million people per year

Bureaucracy in the member states again the obstacle for long due strong European Hedge Funds

What data dominance really means, and how countries can compete

Von der Leyen on Coronavirus Global Response: World stands united against coronavirus and will win

Eurozone: Despite anemic growth and shaky banks marks record trade surplus

Climate change: raise global ambitions to achieve strong outcome at COP26

Coronavirus – here’s the public health advice on how to protect yourself

ECB guarantees the liquidity of the Atlantic financial volume

Chile ups foreign bribery enforcement but flawed case resolutions are insufficient to ensure transparency and accountability

How scientists are turning living cells into the tiny factories of the future

Female leaders in medicine: The wait is over

How the post-COVID workplace will change business for the better

MWC 2016 LIVE: The top 5 themes of this year’s Mobile World Congress

4 ways Africa can prepare its youth for the digital economy

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

The future of crypto-assets, from opportunities to policy implications

UN ceasefire monitoring chief tours Yemeni port of Hudaydah

Yemen parties underscore ‘strong desire’ for peace, UN Envoy reports

Your morning cup of coffee contains 140 litres of water

Why sustainable manufacturing makes economic as well as ethical sense

Commission goes less than mid-way on expensive euro

Yanukovych attempts a violent and deadly cleansing of Kiev’s center

‘Hateful attacks’ pushing Sri Lanka backwards, UN advisers warn, urging an end to ‘discriminatory practices’ that feed intolerance

COVID-19: did we prepare for another storm while dust was settling? A tale from world’s largest democracy

Why a global recession isn’t inevitable

How a possible EU budget deficit affects the migration crisis

Half the world’s refugee children not in school, UN agency finds

These are the 4 most likely scenarios for the future of energy

Cyber defence: MEPs call for better European cooperation

More attacks, ‘persisting security challenges’ threaten progress in West Africa, Sahel

Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to O2 CZ, CETIN and T-Mobile CZ for their network sharing agreement

How the gig economy can transform farms in the developing world

Intervene, don’t overthink – the new mantra of systems design

Technology and Health: a perfect match

Commission welcomes political agreement on the ESF+

Financial services: Commission sets out its equivalence policy with non-EU countries

IMF: The global economy keeps growing except Eurozone

Berlin’s governing elite leads Eurozone to recession to win the September election in Germany

An economist explains why women are paid less

A common fight against Antimicrobial Resistance: how can we react and what should we do

A profitability roadmap for the fast-changing automotive sector

The organization planting millions of trees in old coal mines

Amidst high trade tensions and policy uncertainty, UN cuts economic growth forecast

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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

%d bloggers like this: