‘Zambia’ll continue supporting peacekeeping efforts’

By Adrian Mwanza –
DEFENCE Minister Richwell Siamunene has said Zambia will continue to support the peacekeeping efforts in order to ensure that lives of people in war-torn areas are safeguarded.
Mr Siamunene said that effects of war and armed conflicts were detrimental to the development process in several contexts in the world.
He said the spillover effects of such internal displacement and the escalating number of refugees fleeing from conflict areas presented challenges to the international community.
Mr Siamunene said this when he officiated at the commemoration of the day of the United Peace Keepers at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka yesterday.
He also commended the Zambia defence wing for its commitment to supporting peacekeeping missions through the provision of troops to the United Nations (UN) when requested to do so.
“The troops have continued to score successes in the assigned missions, which is peace-enforcement with the additional tasks of protecting vulnerable groups, especially women and children,” he said.
He applauded the Zambian soldiers who recently returned from the Central African Republic for the commendable job they did on their one-year tour of duty in the war-ravaged country.
Mr Siamunene reaffirmed Government’s commitment to ensuring that army personnel were furnished with the necessary training requirements such as logistics and equipment to enable them to undertake peacekeeping operations successfully.
UN representative Charles Nonde said the number of peacekeeping troops had steadily increased from 40,000 to 105,000 in the last 15 years.
Mr Nonde said the confidence the world placed on the UN peacekeeping was reflected in its massive growth in recent years in terms of numbers and complexity.
He said the missions had continued to make tremendous strides in improving world peace in 16 countries.
Mr Nonde said the troops had faced a number of challenges in Mali where they suffered grave losses, but that this did not deter them from implementing their mandate.

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