LUSAKA– Defence Minister Davies Chama says the government is happy that the Zambian army’s participation in peace-keeping missions has continued to receive accolades from international bodies for exemplary behaviour and dedication to duty.

Chama said here Thursday that organizations such as the United Nations had always expressed confidence in the Zambian Defence Force’s capabilities by requesting the government to provide troops for peace-keeping missions in various parts of the world.

Speaking at the combined pre-deployment training of combined Zambian Defense Force units at the Nanking Military Training Centre here, Chama said President Edgar Lungu wants to ensure the defence forces are adequately prepared to undertake military missions abroad.

He said Zambia had so far participated in 24 United Nations and Africam Union peace-keeping missions dating back to 1984.

Speaking at the same occasion, United States Ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote said Washington was proud to have provided the financial and technical support for all of Zambia’s pre-deployment training to the the peace-keeping mission to the Central African Republic (CAR). Foote said approximately one million US dollars were used for training and procurement of equipment.

Zambia Army Deputy Commander Major-General Jackson Miti said the troops for the UN peace-keeping to the CAR had been exposed to the core deployment training skills and peace support operations.