Portrait of a Slovenian peacekeeper
Shama, 20 September 2014 - UNIFIL Sector West Headquarters: This morning, eight Slovenian peacekeepers are getting ready for their recconaisance patrol (Recce) in south Lebanon.
Amongst them, Private Samo Samardzic, the 26-year old radio operator.
The young athletic soldier is not new to the United Nations. He already participated in a previous mission at UNMIK, in Kosovo, a year ago.
While the first recce exercise is unfolding at the base, Private Samardzic is searching for unexploded device. This is a training exercise, but it is very important to be ready anytime for real case scenarios. Reconnaissance and training are specialized tasks of the Slovenian squad at UNIFIL.
Samo is enjoying Lebanon a lot, where he particularly appreciates the stunning see view and a Mediterranean weather that is rather similar to his Balkan country. He arrived here in May 2014 and was immediately struck by the very warm relationship he encounters with people. "Peacekeeping is essential because you help bringing peace and assisting the population in the region", he says.
Currently, the Slovenian Armed Forces actively participate in eight areas of operations, six different NATO-, EU-, and UN- led operations and missions with a total of 419 service members. They have been deployed in UNIFIL for the last 8 years since December 2006.