Sri Lanka deploys combat vehicles for UN peacekeeping operations

Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army visited the Colombo port today in order to see for himself how the Army’s Mali-bound consignment of Contingent Owned Equipment (COE), was being loaded to the vessel, scheduled to set sail in a day or two.

The shipment with 55 containers, inclusive of self-sustained equipment, combat vehicle equipment, de-mining and explosive ordnance devices and various other logistic paraphernalia.

Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, together with the Director Operations at the Army Headquarters and the Quarter Master General (QMG) shared a couple of thoughts during his brief stay at the location and inquired into other aspects of the operation and its smooth passage before the deadline. Mali Contingent Commander was also at hand during the Commander’s stay.

A few months ago, the UN invited a battalion of Officers and Other Rankers from the Sri Lanka Army to join its peacekeeping initiatives in Mali, affected due to ethnic tensions.

The Sri Lankan Army contingent is to assist the ongoing United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), designed to strengthen the political process there while carrying out a number of other security-related tasks.

Sri Lanka has produced around 16,000 peacekeepers so far with missions, deployed in Lebanon, Sudan and South Sudan, etc. In South Sudan, the Army took professionalism to foreign shores with establishment of its first-ever SRIMED Level 2 Hospital in Bor under the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). (Colombo Gazette)




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