The Sri Lankan army has announced that yet another contingent of troops will leave on a United Nations peacekeeping mission later this month.
The troops will be part of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Lebanon and will include at least 10 officers and 140 other rankers, according to an official army website.
“Since the year 2010, Sri Lanka Army has so far dispatched 11 such contingents to serve in Lebanon at the request of the UNIFIL,” it added.
The departure comes after the commander of Sri Lanka’s army claimed their involvement in peacekeeping missions was an “endorsement that recognizes our professionalism at international level”, with another contingent of troops having left on a mission to Haiti in December. A lawsuit was filed in Haiti against the UN and peacekeeping soldiers, including Sri Lankan troops, by mothers of 'peacekeeper babies' seeking child support and paternity payments. At least 134 Sri Lankan peacekeeping forces are reported to have exploited children in a sex ring in the country, during a UN mission from 2004 to 2007.
The United Nations and the United States have previously stressed the need for accountability for sexual violence committed by Sri Lankan peacekeepers, but Sri Lanka continues to participate in missions.