A Cambodian peacekeeping mission in the 1990s included New Zealand Defence Force communications, naval and engineering personnel. With more than 20,000 people involved, the communications unit (which included the first New Zealand women to join a United Nations peacekeeping mission) was the glue that held the mission together. The naval contingent patrolled inland and coastal waters, and escorted floating fishing villagers down river into Vietnam. The villagers, who were ethnic Vietnamese, had been intimidated by armed Cambodian factions. Landmine clearance had been identified by the UN advance mission as urgently needed. New Zealand engineers developed a landmine clearance programme that included a training component. The trainee mine clearer at work in this photograph is closely watched by a New Zealand army engineer and another trainee.
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New Zealand Defence Force
Reference: John Crawford, In the field for peace: New Zealand’s contribution to international peace-support operations, 1950-1995. Wellington: New Zealand Defence Force, 1996, p. 50
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