ZAMBIA Army Commander Lieutenant General Paul Mihova says terrorism is the challenge of modern peacekeeping operations.

According to a statement issued by Permanent Mission of the Republic Zambia to the UN First Secretary for Press and Public Relations Chibaula Silwamba yesterday, Lt Gen Mihova told UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous that Zambia attached great importance to the maintenance of international peace and security.

“My delegation takes great cognizance of the stronger and more strategic relationship with regional actors such as the African Union which are building stones to greater and wider peace in the world. We take note that United Nations peace support operations are not meant to combat terrorism. However, the positive efforts of United Nations denies the terrorists negative forces safe havens. This on its own exposes UN personnel to security threats such as the Lord Resistance Army that poses serious security threat on Zambian battalion deployed in sector east of the Central African Republic,” Silwamba quoted Lt Gen Mihova as having said.

“It is for this reason that my delegation is of the view of requesting for renegotiation for the upwards adjustment and contingent owned equipment claims ‘reimbursement’.”

Silwamba stated that Lt Gen Mihova commended the UN’s zero tolerance on disciplinary misconduct especially sexual exploitation and abuse of troops who were deployed and announced that Zambia had also adopted the policy.
Silwamba stated that in response, Ladsous thanked Lt. Gen. Mihova for reassuring him of Zambia’s continued contribution to peacekeeping operations and for its availability to help maintain international peace and security, especially in Africa.

Meanwhile, in a separate meeting with United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Field Support His Excellency Atul Khare, Lt Gen Mihova commended the UN Department of Field Support for the great partnership it was building with all stakeholders, particularly with troop and police contributing countries as well as regional intergovernmental organizations.

“We also take note of the efforts you are making in mission support leadership and technical skills as evidenced in the tri-angular partnership,” Lt Gen Mihova told Khare.

Lt Gen Mihova is leading a delegation of officials from the Zambia Army and Zambia Air Force at a series of meetings about peacekeeping with UN officials in New York.