The United Nations awarded gold medals to 135 Indian Army soldiers on UN Duty, also called Blue Berets. On Monday, the ceremony held in Bor of South Sudan was presided over by UN Force Commander Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar, an Indian Army officer. The medal was awarded to honour the dedicated services of the soldiers towards peacekeeping. 103 Sri Lanka Blue Berets were also awarded.
The Indian troops are posted in Pibor, Bor, and at a temporary operating base in Akobo. They have been involved in several activities, including civil-military cooperation like a veterinary camp. Some tense parts of South Sudan are also plagued with communal violence. Flooding and resultant migration of thousands of people have made matters worse. These are just a few of the situations that the Blue Berets have been dealing with.
Tinaikar said, "My heartfelt congratulations to all these officers for their contributions towards the fulfilment of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) mandate in this challenging environment," reported The New Indian Express.
Troops Posted Under MONUSCO
MONUSCO is a UN peacekeeping mission that borders Rwanda and has headquarters in Congolese of Goma. The Indian troops positioned under this mission earned accolades. They ensured seamless evacuation and security of the civilians of Goma and the UN personnel in the eastern DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) after the volcanic eruption at Mount Nyiragongo.
India's Service For UN Missions
Since the first mission of the UN in 1953, over 2,50,000 Indian troops have served in 52 of its 71 missions. The country has always been one of the top troop contributors for several UN missions. Over 160 of these peacekeepers have died serving under the UN flag. Also, in 2007, India became the first country to station an all-women contingent to a UN peacekeeping mission.
Currently, the country has stationed overall 5,424 personnel for UN missions. They are distributed across 8 out of the 13 UN Missions. The United Nations is an international organisation established in 1945 with 51 Member States. Currently, the number of Member States stands at 193. It mainly works to conserve international peace and security, uphold international law, protect human rights, and give humanitarian assistance to those in need.