NZDF Withdraws from Mozambique and Sierra Leone
30 June 2005
The last two remaining New Zealand military personnel in the African nations will be withdrawn today.
The NZDF has been a valuable member of the demining programme in Mozambique with twenty-six members of the Defence Force serving there since 1993.
In Sierra Leone the NZDF has contributed twenty-eight peacekeepers since 1998 as part of UN Missions to monitor security.
The withdrawal of NZDF personnel signifies milestones reached by both countries.
The Mozambique Government has now wholly taken over the Accelerated De-mining Programme, while in Sierra Leone the security situation has stabilised enough to allow the UN Assistance Mission in Sierra Leone to withdraw by the end of 2005.
Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, Major General Lou Gardiner says the professionalism of the NZDF personnel who have served in Mozambique and Sierra Leone has been outstanding
“Over the years their ability to quickly adjust to sometimes a hostile environment and provide support to the United Nations has been tremendous,” said Major General Gardiner.
“This is in line with the other 19 missions where New Zealand Defence Force Personnel are deployed around the world's trouble spots, from Afghanistan through the Middle East and Europe to the East Timor and Solomon Islands," he said.
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