EIGHTY Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) soldiers, including ten women, left for Lebanon yesterday where they will join the United Nations Interim Force in the Lebanon (UNIFIL).
The Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), General George Waitara, saw off the soldiers at a ceremony held in Dar es Salaam yesterday. General Waitara urged the soldiers to adhere to professional ethics while in Lebanon soil.
“For many years, TPDF has earned a good reputation and you have to maintain it. This can only be done once you work with diligence, dedication and integrity,” said General Waitara.
He added that any egregious and indiscipline behaviour among the soldiers abroad would not be tolerated. The general called on the military police to work as a team to enable them to fulfil the peacekeeping mission in Lebanon.
He expressed optimism that the participation of the Tanzania soldiers in peace keeping mission in Lebanon would also enable the soldiers to acquire vast experience, knowledge and skills on issues related to global peace keeping mission.
Sending of peace keepers in Lebanon ushers a new era in Tanzania history as it is for the first time the country sends its troops outside Africa since TPDF’s inception in 1964, say officials.
United Nations Interim force in Lebanon is part of UN resolution implementation number 1701 that ended a 34-day fierce war between Israel forces and Hizbollah militias last year.