Vietnam expands presence in UN peacekeeping force in Africa

By Hoang Phuong   March 7, 2017 | 11:34 am GMT+7

The country started allocating staff for the U.N. peacekeeping forces in 2014

Vietnam will widen its presence in the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces to fill in more positions and attend more operations in Africa this year and in 2018, the country's peacekeeping center said.

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Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Xuan Thanh (in the middle) is on duty in the Central African Republic. Photo provided by the Vietnam Peacekeeping Center

The U.N. has allocated two new positions for Vietnam, allowing one intelligence analyst officer and one military observer to join operation in the Central African Republic, Colonel Hoang Kim Phung, head of the Vietnam Peacekeeping Center, said Monday.

Five other officers are also set to leave for Africa between April and June, bringing the total number of Vietnamese officers engaged in U.N. missions to 19, Phung said.

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Major Truong Anh Tuan, liaison officer in South Sudan. Photo provided by the Vietnam Peacekeeping Center

The selected officers will undergo specialized training programs to prepare them for U.N. peacekeeping operations, he added.

In addition to foreign language skills, the officers must have knowledge of foreign and defense policy as well as capabilities to meet high requirements in a multinational working environment.

Besides, Vietnam's army has been preparing staff for a field hospital which is expected to start operation in South Sudan in early 2018, the peace keeping center said in a report on February 22.

Since 2014, Vietnam has dispatched 12 officers to U.N. missions in South Sudan and the Central African Republic, joining activities to provide humanitarian aid in countries torn by natural disasters or conflicts. 

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