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Belize to send BDF soldiers on UN peacekeeping missions

GeneralBelize to send BDF soldiers on UN peacekeeping missions

BELIZE CITY, Wed. June 22, 2022

A Cabinet brief released last week was the first public statement that indicated to Belizeans that government had given the green light for members of Belize’s security forces to once more participate in UN peacekeeping missions. On Monday, the Minister of State in the Ministry of National Defence, Hon. Oscar Mira, confirmed that the country is giving serious consideration to the inclusion of local soldiers in such international missions, since the nation has not contributed manpower to UN peacekeeping missions since 1995 when he was a member of the Belize Defence Force.

In that year, said Hon. Mira, members of the BDF, including Mira himself, had gone to provide support to Haiti.

“We have served in UN peacekeeping efforts before. I was one of those that served in Haiti in 1995. That was, I think, the first time that the Belize Defence Force actually participated in a peacekeeping operation in Haiti as part of CARICOM. The possibility is there; it is open to all members of the United Nations who want to participate in peacekeeping operations,” Hon. Mira said.

He went on to remark that he believes that it is Belize’s time to contribute once more to the international community.

“I think we in the Belize Defence Force now feel that we are able to contribute to international peace and security, and we want to do our part as members of the United Nations. Belize Defence Force is highly trained; a lot of our officers go to the best schools in the world, and we want them to contribute back to our international obligation, which is peace and security,” Minister Mira said.

The release from Cabinet last week had indicated that BDF soldiers would be serving as military observers or staff officers on such missions.

“Cabinet gave its support for the Belize Security Services to look into the possibility of having their members participate in United Nations peacekeeping operations as military observers or staff officers,” the June 16th Cabinet brief states.

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