Thai peacekeepers depart for South Sudan

During the festive season of the year, Thailand sent 273 peacekeepers to South Sudan as part of the United Nations mission in that new nation beset by conflict, a role Thai soldiers have performed numerous times throughout the years.

The troops will be replacing a unit of Thai soldiers already in South Sudan who were scheduled to return to Thailand this year. This will be the Kingdom’s 3rd posting of peacekeepers to the African nation.

Thailand has been contributing troops and personnel to UN peacekeeping operations since 1985. Its first deployment was in Lebanon. Following that, Thai peacekeepers have taken part in missions in Iraq, Timor-Leste, Burundi, Nepal, Haiti, Liberia, Kashmir, and several other countries.

The Kingdom prides itself on maintaining friendly relations with all nations and working to build and support regional and global security. Peacekeeping fits perfectly into that worldview. Thai policy on this has been constant through every Thai government administration.

The soldiers just dispatched to Africa are members of the 2nd Army Region and 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Infantry Regiment. South Sudan is still emerging from war and civil conflict, and has great needs as far as rebuilding infrastructure and institutions.

The engineering corps will help fulfill that role. Thai troops have also helped South Sudanese farmers by teaching them about the “Sufficiency Economy,” a balanced and resilient approach to agriculture pioneered by Thailand’s King Rama IX, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great.

The soldiers’ tasks are beyond rebuilding and teaching. Security is also an integral part of their mission. The troops will also be protecting civilians and UN convoys from possible attacks as they move throughout the country.

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