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

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

  • 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.

UN Peacekeeping

  • United Nations Peacekeeping Forces are employed by the World Organization to maintain or re-establish peace in an area of armed conflict.
  • The UN may engage in conflicts between states as well as in struggles within states.
  • The UN acts as an impartial third party in order to prepare the ground for a settlement of the issues that have provoked armed conflict.
  • If it proves impossible to achieve a peaceful settlement, the presence of UN forces may contribute to reducing the level of conflict.
  • The UN Peacekeeping Forces may only be employed when both parties to a conflict accept their presence.
  • Accordingly, they may also be used by the warring parties to avoid having a conflict escalate and, in the event, also to have a struggle called off.

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.
  • 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.