Peacekeeping Current Affairs
Indian Army is contributing approximately 2300 personnel to support United Nations Peacekeeping Missions to South Sudan (UNMISS) in order to bring peace and normalcy in the war-torn country.
It includes deployment of seven Garhwal Rifles Infantry battalion group of the Indian Army. The deployment of Indian peacekeepers in South Sudan is under Chapter VII which entails Peace Enforcement.
This is for first time troops hailing fromGarhwal region have been nominated to deploy in United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The unit will be in operational control of sensitive Jonglei state of South Sudan with detachment at Juba, its headquarters in Bor County and air maintained company group at Pibor County where armed conflicts and ethnic violence is on the rise.
South Sudan had gained independence from Sudan in 2011, making it the newest nation in the world. Civil war had broken out in infant nation in 2013. The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is newest UN Peacekeeping Mission. India, with 2,237 troops, is the highest contributor in terms of troops to UNMISS. In addition to India, 53 nations from around the world have contributed troops to the peacekeeping mission.
India and UN Peacekeeping
The Indian Army is the largest cumulative troop contributor to United Nations Peacekeeping Missions mandated to maintain stability and negotiate a peace settlement in turbulent regions of the world. So far India has provided almost 200,000 troops in nearly 50 of the 71 UN peacekeeping missions over the past six decades, including 13 of the current 16 missions. Last year, 7,606 Indian peacekeepers were deployed in UN missions. Moreover, India has suffered 163 fatalities since the peacekeeping operations began in 1948, the most by any country.
India has contributed US 100,000 dollars to the United Nations’ Trust Fund in support of victims of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers.
With this India became the first country to make a contribution to the fund and to start UN fund for sex abuse victims.
- With this contribution, India has illustrated its strong commitment to victim-centred approach in addressing sexual exploitation and abuse by UN civilian and uniformed personnel.
- The Trust Fund was established in March 2016 under the aegis of United Nations Department of Field Support (DFS).
- The fund seeks to support services for victims and address gaps in services. UN member countries can voluntary make contributions to the Trust Fund.
- Historically, India has been one of the largest troop-contributing countries in the UN peacekeeping operations. Currently, India is second largest contributor of military and police personnel.
- In the past, UN had faced severe backlash over allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by its peacekeepers, particularly those working in Central African Republic.
- In 2015, 69 allegations were recorded against peacekeepers but no Indian was accused of any wrongdoing. No Indian peacekeeper faced any allegations of misconduct.
- India has strongly maintained that instances of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers are abhorrent and repugnant. India also has underscored that it has a zero tolerance policy on such cases.