Coronavirus: UN Asks 9 Countries to Delay Peacekeeper Rotations

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Chinese People's Liberation Army soldiers rally before departing on a UN peacekeeping mission.
FILE -- In this Sept. 15, 2015 photo, Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers rally before departing on a UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan at a military compound in Xinzheng city in central China's Henan province. (Chinatopix via AP)

The United Nations on Friday asked nine countries, including China, South Korea and France, to delay by three months the rotations of their UN peacekeeping forces due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The request was made to the countries "to maintain operational strength and execute their mandated tasks," diplomatic sources at the UN said.

The nine countries also include Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal, India, Italy and Germany -- all of which have experienced significant outbreaks of the COVID-19 virus.

The UN peacekeeping missions, known as the Blue Helmets, are under constant reassessment in relation to the rotations of the soldiers and police, who are deployed to the mission by their home countries.

The UN wants to keep the deployed troops healthy while maintaining the continuity of the operations.

The Blue Helmets have around 100,000 people in peacekeeping operations in 15 countries.

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