NEW DELHI: Recognising the dedicated services of the Indian Army soldiers towards peacekeeping, the United Nations awarded them with Medal on Monday. The Peacekeepers from Sri Lanka were also awarded.
It was a special day for the 135 Indian soldiers on UN Duty, also known as Blue Berets, as the medal ceremony in Bor, South Sudan, was presided over by Lt Gen Shailesh Tinaikar, UN Force Commander, also an Indian Army officer himself. As many as 103 Sri Lankan Blue Berets were also awarded the medal.
“My heartfelt congratulations to all these officers for their contributions towards the fulfillment of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) mandate in this challenging environment,” said Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar.
The UNMISS took to its official Twitter handle and said, "Take a bow, people of #India! Some 135 of your peacekeeping troops, based in #SouthSudan and serving with #UNMISS, have received @UN medals for their outstanding performance in Jonglei State and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area. #ServingForPeace"
The Indian troops are stationed in Bor, Pibor, and at a temporary operating base in Akobo and have engaged in a variety of activities, including civil-military cooperation such as a veterinary camp. They have been dealing with the often violent situations in the volatile parts of South Sudan beset with intercommunal violence. Flooding and the resulting displacement of thousands of people have further complicated matters.
Indian troops deployed under MONUSCO, a UN peacekeeping mission headquartered in the Congolese city of Goma and bordering Rwanda, earned praises. The troops facilitated smooth evacuation and protection of the civilians of Goma City and the UN personnel in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo after volcano Mount Nyiragongo erupted molten red hot lava.
India has been one of the top troop contributors for various UN missions. At present, there are around 5,500 Indian soldiers serving in eight of the 13 UN Missions.
The year 2018 brought a paradigm shift to peacekeeping with foreign troops for the first time began serving under an Indian battalion in Lebanon. A company of 120 Kazakh Army troops part of operations with the Indian Army.
In 2007, India became the first country to deploy an all-women contingent to a UN peacekeeping mission.
Currently, India has deployed a total of 5,424 personnel for UN missions. Since the UN's first mission of 1953 more than 2,50,000 Indian troops have served in UNs 52 out of 71 missions. More than 160 Indian peacekeepers have paid the ultimate price in service to peace, losing their lives serving under the UN flag.
The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 with 51 Member States which currently stands at 193 Member States. It primarily works to maintain international peace and security, give humanitarian assistance to those in need, protect human rights, and uphold international law. It has set sustainable development goals for 2030, in order to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.
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