Kazakh Parliament Approves Sending Military Personnel to Further UN Peacekeeping Missions

NUR-SULTAN – The joint session of the chambers of the Kazakh Parliament approved the proposal from President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to send a peacekeeping contingent from Kazakhstan to the United Nations missions in Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Mali, reports the Kazakh Defense Ministry.

Kazakh peacekeepers. Photo credit: Kazakh Defense Ministry

The text of the address by President Tokayev was read out by Minister of Defense, Colonel General Ruslan Zhaksylykov. The statement says that the recent events in the region and around the world raise the importance of strengthening military training and acquiring practical combat experience.

Kazakhstan’s peacekeepers are expected to participate as staff officers, military observers, as well as members of specialized medical, reconnaissance, engineering units and military police. But details about the units, missions and dates of deployment will be determined only after negotiations with the United Nations Secretariat.

In recent years, the statement said, there has been a reduction in the contingent of peacekeeping missions, and at the same time, there is a growing competition among countries wishing to send troops to participate in operations to maintain peace and security.

Candidates for service in the mission are selected on a voluntary basis from among military officers of the Armed Forces who have received peacekeeping training. Sending the contingent on UN peacekeeping missions will help them gain combat experience, and improve the combat training of the Armed Forces.

Since 2014, 45 Kazakh officers have participated in UN missions in Western Sahara, Côte d’Ivoire and Lebanon as military observers and staff officers and since 2018, 520 Kazakh officers have participated in the UN Interim Force in Lebanon mission as part of a peacekeeping unit.

To date, six officers serve in the UN missions in Western Sahara and nine in the UN Interim Force in Lebanon.

Get The Astana Times stories sent directly to you! Sign up via the website or subscribe to our Twitter and Telegram!