Blue Helmets: Indian peacekeepers in Congo continue to keep peace and launch Static Combat Deployment

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Published: April 30, 2019 7:59:43 PM

Despite the Indian UN Peacekeeping post being attacked by armed rebels in the African nation, the Indian peacekeepers have been on the job in that country. So far, 154 peacekeepers have died in UN Peacekeeping Operations in Congo.

 

Blue Helmet, Indian peacekeepers in Congo, Masisi Territory in DR Congo, Indian UN peacekeeping force Indian peacekeepers in Congo (Representative image)

Amidst concerns emanating from inter armed groups clashes in the volatile Masisi Territory in DR Congo, Indian UN peacekeeping force has launched Static Combat Deployment (SCD) in Mpati region of Masisi Territory in the African nation.

The 21 RAJ RIF battalion under the UN Blue Helmets deployed in the most unstable provinces of the African nation is assessing the prevailing security situation and is reassuring the local population of Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) support. Presently almost 4,000 Indian army soldiers are part of the UN Congo peacekeeping mission, which has about 20,000 soldiers from other countries.

A senior officer of the Indian Army explained that the aim of launching the SCD is to dominate remote areas of the troubled and armed groups infested region, and to show the visible presence of Blue Helmets as deterrence and support Field Office Goma in their protection mission. Adding, the SCD Commander has conducted an URAFIKI (Friendship) meeting at Nyange in that country to interact with all important stakeholders and assess the situation.

Despite the Indian UN Peacekeeping post being attacked by armed rebels in the African nation, the Indian peacekeepers have been on the job in that country. So far, 154 peacekeepers have died in UN Peacekeeping Operations in Congo.

In 2018, citing the conditions under which peacekeepers operate within Congo, India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin had told the Security Council that “the strategy of peacekeepers needing to do more with less is setting all up for a tragedy.”

During a Council debate on Strengthening Peacekeeping Operations in Africa, Akbaruddin had pointed out that the troops deployed to enforce protection of civilians don’t have to enable air assets for rapid reinforcement operations. Besides criticizing the practice of some troop-contributing countries placing restrictions on how their peacekeepers can be deployed in Africa, the Indian ambassador pointed out that only four UN battalions were responsible for Congo’s Central sector of 500,000 sq km with more than 11 million people.

According to the international organization, out of the 3,737 peacekeepers who have died since 1948, 163 have been from India, the highest total from any troop-contributing country.

India is presently the third largest contributor of military and police personnel to the United Nations Peacekeeping with 6,693 now deployed in Abyei, Cyprus, Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, the Middle East, South Sudan and Western Sahara.

CLASHES IN MASISI

There have been persistent clashes between NDC-R and various Nyatura elements including APCLS, Nyatura Delta, Nyatura Kavambi and Nyatura Jean Marie – across Masisi territory over the last two months. Mpati, Kivuye, Kalungu, Lukveti, Kashuga in Massisi territory.

These clashes are almost on a regular basis. Till now more than 200 armed clashes and 127 civilians have been killed and approx 250 injured since 1 March. There are also reports of alleged rapes of several women during the clashes. This is likely to continue for a few more weeks.

The Head of the MONUSCO has sought continued Security Council support for what has been achieved since that country’s first-ever the peaceful transfer of power.

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