UN medals for Cambodian Sappers in Mali

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A year of service in, among others, ensuring transport links remain operational saw a 150-strong Cambodian company of military engineers honoured with the United Nations (UN) medal of honour in Kidal, Mali.

The Sappers are one of eight Cambodian detachments deployed to Mali as part of MINUSMA.

“Our priority is to maintain MINUSMA airfields, airstrips and helipads in Kidal and Tessalit,” said company Chief of Staff, Colonel Soporoath Chan re-affirming a commitment to fulfil duties as ordered.

His detachment participated in numerous engineering missions including renovation, preparation and maintenance of laterite airstrips in Kidal and Tessalit. This was in addition to expanding the camp, maintenance and repair of the heliport and building other infrastructure – “always in support of the mission”.

“The Cambodian contingent was vital in executing civil engineering works throughout Kidal region. The company was active in construction of an airstrip essential to speed up other onsite works. Additionally the detachment assisted in improving living conditions and wellbeing of staff. They built a basketball court, bunkers and protective walls. Their contribution to our greening initiative for the integrated Kidal camp was welcome, along with a team to manage irrigation systems,” Eric Sevor, MINUSMA regional administrative officer in Kidal, said.

“The Cambodian company accomplished its missions with a high level of professionalism, relying on the expertise of its technicians,” MINUSMA Deputy Force Commander in Kidal, Colonel Eric Durieux said.