120 Kazakh soldiers will go on a peacekeeping mission to Lebanon
120 Kazakh soldiers will go on a peacekeeping mission to Lebanon at the end of October. Currently, the soldiers are undergoing intensive training at a training site near Almaty. The training ground is very similar to the location where the soldiers will serve so that they are able to adapt to the new situation. Their main task is to facilitate the peacekeeping mission. The soldiers said the most important aspect to focus on the training ground is to pay attention to the smallest details.
KANAT BILYALOV, COMMANDER, PEACEKEEPING UNIT:
- We are working on issues such as an organization of a block-post, a checkpoint, patrolling, a mobile block post as well as the military stationary organization. We are fulfilling those standards that will be useful to the mission.
The main mission of the Kazakh army is to resolve conflicts peacefully in the Middle East. Priority is given to the art of negotiation.
SUKHRAB APPAZOV, DEPUTY COMMANDER, KAZAKHSTAN’S PEACEKEEPING CONTINGENT IN LEBANON:
- We use weapons only in extreme cases during protection of units, troops, the UN personnel and facilities by strictly acting under the UN Chapter 6.
Enrolment in the elite military unit is difficult. The peacekeeping group was formed on the basis of a military unit in Kapchagai. Not all soldiers are able to pass the strict selection process. In total, 120 of the best soldiers were selected to head to Lebanon in order to preserve peace in the region.
AIDOS NURLYBAYEV, SERGEANT, PEACEKEEPING TROOP:
- There was a selection process. Candidates’ physical and mental fitness was tested. In the future, a soldier should not fail himself or herself, his commanders or his country during military duties.
This is not the first peacekeeping mission for the Kazakh military. In the 1990s, there was a mission in Tajikistan and in 2000s the local armies were sent to Iraq. From 2003 to 2008, a group of Kazakh sapper or combat engineers was tasked with clearing a mine. During the years of the mission, the soldiers successfully destroyed more than four million explosive items and cleaned nearly 7,000 cubic meters of water. The group of Kazakh soldiers, who are part of United Nations peacekeeping contingent, will be in Lebanon for six months.