After focusing for years on training peacekeeping troops for overseas missions — including the Steppe Eagle exercise with the United States — Kazakhstan aims to increase participation in United Nations peacekeeping missions.
In November 2020, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev instructed his Defense Ministry to prepare a “road map” in 2021 by which Kazakhstan can expand its role in multinational peacekeeping forces.
President Tokayev’s decision comes as his troops have accumulated years of overseas experience. Since 2007, dozens of Kazakh military personnel have joined peacekeeping missions in Nepal, Côte d’Ivoire, Western Sahara and Lebanon.
Most prominently, Kazakhstan has provided a company of 124 Soldiers to patrol southern Lebanon as part of the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon. In Lebanon, Kazakhs have conducted patrols, staffed observation posts and provided medical care immediately after the August 2020 Beirut port explosion. Recent training in Lebanon has included explosives disposal, courses the Kazakhs took with troops from India, Serbia and Spain.
In stressing the importance of Kazakhstan’s role as a provider of peacekeeping forces, President Tokayev called the U.N. overseas missions a “great honor and a huge responsibility.” Source: The Astana Times
Kazakh Soldiers train at the Steppe Eagle 19 exercise near Almaty. Staff Sgt. Adrian Borunda/U.S. Army