A new Zambian battalion has begun its one-year peacekeeping operation in the war-torn Central African Republic (CAR). ZAMBATT IX arrived in CAR on August 4, 2023, and took over the mantle of protecting civilians from ZAMBATT VIII, which has since returned home.
The handover ceremony was held on August 10, 2023, at the ZAMBATT Battalion Headquarters in Birao. Lt Col William Chibanda, the outgoing Contingent Commander of ZAMBATT VIII, thanked the local leadership for their support and urged them to continue supporting the new contingent. He also praised the professionalism of the Zambian battalions, saying they had made a significant contribution to the protection of civilians in CAR.
The ceremony was attended by the Prefect of Vakaga province, Mr Leonard Mbele, MINUSCA Head of Field Office in Birao, Mr Jean Emile Vincent Nkiranuye, and many religious and civic leaders from Birao. They all commended the Zambian battalions for their work and wished the new contingent well in its mission.
The new Contingent Commander, Col Moses Shapwaya, assured the local leadership that his troops would continue to work with them and the communities in its area of responsibility to ensure the protection of civilians. He also pledged to uphold the highest standards of professionalism and conduct.