Vietnamese military doctors in South Sudan (Source: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s participation in UN peacekeeping activities in war-torn South Sudan has gained praise from international media.

On its official website peacekeeping.un.org, the UN Peacekeeping called the presence of Vietnam’s first level-2 field military hospital in Bentiu as a “historic arrival”, and the “green beret” force has been welcomed by the UN and the UN Mission in this African country.

Despite formidable challenges in the nation, Vietnamese doctors will successfully complete their mission, it said.

In the writing “ RAAF flies Vietnamese peacekeepers to South Sudan”, Australia’s analysis firm “The Strategist” affirmed that the Vietnamese hospital’s operations in South Sudan not only show the country’s increasing role in the international arena but it also offers opportunities for Vietnamese and Australian militaries to step up collaboration.

“This mission was never going to be easy and in order to prepare for it, Vietnam had to prove it could meet high standards in key areas. And they did it with our help”, the Strategist quoted Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Craig Chittick as saying.

The field hospital has received considerable assistance from Australia. Apart from personnel and financial support for English language teaching, the Australian army has provided short- and medium-term training courses for the staff of the hospital.

Meanwhile, the Diplomat magazine emphasised Vietnam’s deployment of the level-2 field hospital in South Sudan as part of the country’s broader commitment to playing a role in international peacekeeping. The hospital is also a manifestation of Vietnam’s growing involvement in peacekeeping operations.

There are also other aspects of the mission’s significance, such as the fact that 17 percent of the personnel sent are women, working towards the UN’s prioritisation of gender equality, it said.

According to Colonel Hoang Kim Phung, Director of the Vietnam Peacekeeping Department, besides providing healthcare for staffers of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan for one year, the hospital also takes on another important mission – giving support to local people in urgent cases.

All of the doctors received intensive training for nearly four years and underwent two rounds of examination from the UN, he said, adding that they have considerable expertise in medical checkups and treatment.

Vietnam has previously sent many individuals to join global peacekeeping efforts who were later complimented by leaders of UN Missions in South Sudan and Central Africa for their professional and prompt response to urgent situations, he said.

Phung expressed his belief that the level-2 field hospital will do their utmost to live up to expectations of the UN Mission, thus affirming Vietnam’s responsibility for global peace.

The hospital is the first-ever independent unit of Vietnam to join the UN peacekeeping operation. On October 1, the first group of the hospital with 32 members set off for South Sudan. The second group with 31 doctors left Ho Chi Minh City for the mission in the African country on October 15.

On November 25, 2014, the Ministry of Defence issued a decision to establish a level-2 field hospital with a staff of 70, a step towards realising the Party and State’s policy on joining the United Nations’ peacekeeping activities in the field of humanitarian activities.–VNA