Thursday, May 26, 2022

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Indian Army to deploy peacekeeping battalion in Africa’s Abyei region

Continuing the role of extending support at a time of an exigency to the friendly nations, the Indian Army is all set to dispatch an infantry battalion as a part of UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) in the oil-rich Abyei region of Africa, which sits between northern and southern Sudan. The UNISFA is authorized to protect civilians and humanitarian workers in the region.

Under the peacekeeping operation, the 570 soldiers strong infantry battalion of the Indian Army will be deployed, which will be tasked to provide humanitarian aid and monitor the sensitive border between Sudan and South Sudan.

Indian Army: 3rd largest contributor in peacekeeping ops

Presently, the Indian Army has deployed over 5,300 soldiers in eight different UN missions around the globe. It is noteworthy that the Indian Army is the world’s third largest troop contributor in the peacekeeping operations.

The decision to send another infantry battalion comes in the backdrop of India’s ongoing two-year tenure as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council since January 2021. India secured the seat at the famous 15-member UNSC for the eighth time.

India’s tryst with global peacekeeping ops

Indian Army’s participation in the UN peacekeeping operations spans over a period of 57 years, in 43 different UN Missions. More than 90,000 Indian Army soldiers have served in various parts as a part of these imperative missions globally.

Extending support to UN peacekeeping endeavors, the Indian Army has contributed outstanding force commanders, elite military contingents, impartial observers and dedicated staff officers.

Time and again, India has contributed in the peacekeeping efforts of the United Nations, not for any strategic gain, but in the service of an ideal.

India has deployed its peacekeeping battalion in countries like Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Lebanon, Ethiopia-Eritrea, Congo, Sudan and Golan Heights. Further, Observers and staff personnel have made their contributions to the global peace efforts in Central America, Iran, Yemen, Iraq, Kuwait, Liberia, Lebanon, Mozambique, Congo, Ethiopia-Eritrea, Sudan and Golan Heights.

After Korea (1950-52) and Congo (1960-63), India again sent a brigade group to Somalia and Congo reaffirming its resolve to support the international community in peace and security issues.

Defence Minister lauds remarkable humanitarian missions by India

Addressing PANEX-21, a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh praised the Indian Armed Forces for incorporating HADR operations as one of the foremost elements in their vision and for being the first responder in any exigency to the friendly nation around the globe.

The Defence Minister mentioned about some notable Humanitarian missions undertaken by India, including Operation Rahat in Yemen in 2015 – when India evacuated more than 6,700 people; Cyclone in Sri Lanka in 2016; Earthquake in Indonesia in 2019; Cyclone Idai in Mozambique; flooding & landslides in Madagascar in January 2020; Oilspill in Mauritius in August 2020 and Oil tanker fire in Sri Lanka in September 2020.

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