The Coalition Government has extended three New Zealand Defence Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa by two years, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today.
“These deployments promote peace in the Middle East and Africa by protecting civilians and countering the spread of violent extremism,” Mr Peters said.
“Developments in that part of the world can have a global impact, including on New Zealand’s security and prosperity. This is why we contribute defence personnel to the region to maintain stability, promote peace, and support the promotion of human rights, humanitarian support and development.”
The three extended deployments are:
· A four-person contingent in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), where New Zealand has contributed since 2011, has been extended to June 2022;
· A 28-person contingent to the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in Sinai Egypt, where New Zealand has contributed since 1982, has been extended to September 2022; and
· An eight-person contingent in the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) in the Middle East, where New Zealand has contributed since 1954, has been extended to September 2022.
Mr Mark welcomed the extended deployments. “These extensions will allow NZDF personnel to continue to make a difference in the Middle East and Africa,” Defence Minister Mark said.
“I served in the MFO mission when it was established in 1982, and had the privilege of visiting the NZDF personnel across the Middle East and Africa in 2019. I was proud to see their professionalism and mana, and how well they are regarded in some truly challenging operational contexts,” said Mr Mark.
Minister Peters – Alex Masters, 021 809 186
Minister Mark – Toni Hartley, 021 302 432