Kazakh peacekeeper returns home after one year in Cote d'Ivoire04 september 2015, 19:57
Captain Temirlan Mussapirov of Kazbrig, the first Kazakh to arrive to Côte d'Ivoire as a military observer returned home after serving in a peacekeeping mission, Tengrinews reports.
"Officer of the Airforces of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Captain Temirlan Mussapirov, who was the first Kazakh to depart for the UN mission in Western Sahara has returned to Kazakhstan. He served in the African country for one year along with representatives from over 30 countries as a military observer," the press office of the Ministry of Defence said.
Captain Mussapirov said that working in Western Sahara erased all the differences between military personnel from different countries. "There you realize that your military rank, age, nationality do not matter. You must keep the neutrality remembering that the whole country will be judged based on you. It is a great responsibility," Mussapirov said.
The Kazakhstani peacekeeper added that serving in a foreign country far from his family was not easy, but he was ready to embark on a mission again if need be.
Upon his return home, Captain Mussapirov resumed his work at the peacekeeping battalion.
As of today, six officers from Kazakhstan are working as military observers in two missions in Western Sahara (MINURSO) and Cote d'Ivoire (UNOCI).
Participation in the UN's peacekeeping missions requires fluent command of English and knowledge of UN's regulatory documents, driving skills for cars and specialized vehicles as well as successful completion of UN's specialized training.
All photos courtesy of the Ministry of Defence of Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan has been working towards increasing its military's peacekeeping potential since 2000 with the formation of Kazbrig (formerly known as Kazbat), peacekeeping brigade. One of the first assignments for Kazbrig was demining and water purification in Iraq. All in all, Kazakh peacekeepers worked in Iraq, according to riss.ru, for 9 rotations. Since 2003, Kazbrig has been training with NATO at the annual Steppen Eagle maneuvers. In 2013, the government agreed to send Kazbrig to Africa to partake in UN’s peacekeeping operations in the country with lower risk levels. In July 2013, four officers from Kazbrig departed to Western Sahara as military observers with a UN Mission, newskaz.ru reported. Two of them worked in the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI).
In the future, Kazakhstan is ready to send up to 5 officers to Western Sahara, Cote d'Ivoire, Haiti and Liberia.
By Gyuzel Kamalova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina