Send-Off Ceremony for the Contingent of the Serbian Armed Forces to the UN Mission in Central African Republic

Monday, 20.5.2019 | Multinational Operations

Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin and Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, General Milan Mojsilović have attended today the send-off ceremony for the 9th contingent of the Serbian Armed Forces to the UN Mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA) in the Banjica 2 barracks in Belgrade.

There are 72 members of the Ministry of Defence and Serbian Armed Forces to be deployed in the Central African Republic. In the next six months they are to be engaged within the composition of the deployable medical treatment facility role 2 on providing medical treatment to the forces in the MINUSCA operation.
Addressing the Serbian peacekeepers, their families and commanding officers, Minister Vulin pointed out that this has been for the ninth time that we are gathering in order to send the best and the bravest among us to a country torn and destroyed by hatred, misunderstanding, conflicts and wars.
– You are going to the place where those much bigger and much more equipped than us are not capable of bringing peace or alleviating human suffering, and you are. Those who walked before you left you a good name, left you a great and honourable task – we are speaking about Serbia, left you the right to refer to those who were before you. You should be worthy of them. No one can dispute your professionalism, that is why we are sending our best ones. And wherever we go, everyone speaks about Serbian doctors, technicians, Serbian soldiers, and we wish that everyone speaks about a Serbian man, just as they spoke about those before you – the minister of defence emphasised, adding that this is what distinguishes our peacekeepers, and makes us proud.
According to him, the Serbs understand human suffering, the Serbs can understand someone else's pain, how it feels to be left without the beloved ones, without home, and how it is when violence and injustice destroy the life, the country, people, the future and how it is when people are suffering.
– Because we understand how it is when people are suffering, how it feels to be deprived of what you firmly believe to be the only thing possible – your right to life; that is what makes us good people, that is why we are understood and recognised. As long as we are able to preserve such an image of our people, we will be great and respected, and I believe loved as well – Minister Vulin said.
He wished the peacekeepers of the 9th rotation to fulfil all their tasks to the end, successfully and safely.
– We will take care of you, we will miss you, we will ask you to keep in touch, we will think about you, and every day we will know very well what you are doing, how you are, whether there are any threats, and we will always take care of each of you. Your first task, above all, is to look after each other, to take care of yourselves, watch yourselves and return to us, safe and sound, as we sent you. Your families will care, your army will care, your country will take care of you, and you only have to take care of your coming back to us safe and sound – Minister Vulin said.
At today's ceremony, the minister of defence handed over the flag of the Republic of Serbia to the commander of the 9th rotation of the Serbian contingent, Colonel Igor Avdić, who pointed out that the members of the contingent were ready and motivated, and that they would perform the given task in a way that they only knew – completely. 
The Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces are currently participating in nine UN- and EU-led multinational operations around the world, and 288 Serbian peacekeepers are engaged in these tasks.
Colonel Avdić, commander of the Serbian military hospital in this rotation, emphasised that the contingent consists of the command, hospitals and logistic support units, and the primary task would be, as in the previous rotations, the provision of medical care to UN members deployed in that mission.
– The Republic of Serbia has signed an agreement which implies that in the forthcoming period, equipment from Serbia is to be transferred to the military hospital in Bangui to replace the existing one. Our task will be to receive that equipment and slowly make it operational, which takes time – Colonel Avdić said, adding that the aim is to make the hospital self-sustaining and that entering this process is what distinguishes this rotation from the previous ones, because this means that both personnel and equipment will be from Serbia.
The Serbian contingent in MINUSCA is composed of medical and non-medical personnel and Lieutenant Colonel Dimitrije Tasić will be on duty of a commander of the UN military hospital role 2 plus for the second time.
– We encounter mostly endemic diseases, primarily malaria, and we often had poly-trauma as a result of traffic accidents and wounding with explosive devices - Lieutenant Colonel Tasić said.
Speaking about the importance of logistic support, Lieutenant Colonel Milomir Teofilović pointed out that the task of the unit is to provide the most favourable and optimal conditions for the life and operation of this mission in terms of supply and maintenance.
– We are prepared and trained for all security risk situations – Lieutenant Colonel Teofilović said.

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