What has happened?
- Two BSF personnel who were part of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC),
- Were among five people killed during a protest in an eastern town near the border with Uganda on Tuesday (July 26).
- A total 175 Indian peacekeepers have so far died while serving with the United Nations. India has lost more peacekeepers than any other UN Member State.
- Both the deceased bravehearts were in the rank of head constable and hailed from Rajasthan, a senior officer said.
- Peacekeeping has proven to be one of the most effective tools available to the UN to assist host countries navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace.
- UN peacekeepers provide security and the political and peacebuilding support to help countries make the difficult, early transition from conflict to peace.
- Since 1948, UN Peacekeepers have undertaken 71 Field Missions.
- There are approximately 81,820 personnel serving on 13 peace operations led by UNDPO, in four continents currently.
- A total of 119 countries have contributed military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping.
- Currently, 72,930 of those serving are troops and military observers, and about 8,890 are police personnel.
- According to the UN, the mission has more than 16,000 uniformed personnel in Congo.
- The protests are taking place as fighting has escalated between Congolese troops and the M23 rebels, forcing nearly 200,000 people to flee their homes.
- The new mission has been authorized to use all necessary means to carry out its mandate relating, among other things,
- To the protection of civilians, humanitarian personnel and human rights defenders under imminent threat of physical violence and to support the Government of the DRC in its stabilization and peace consolidation efforts.
What happened in DR Congo?
- The two soldiers were part of MONUSCO – the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo.
- At least five people were killed and about 50 others injured on the second day of demonstrations in Congo’s eastern city of Goma against the United Nations mission in the country.
- Two platoons or around 70-74 BSF troops were deployed in the area and they were inducted in May this year.
- Locals had given a call for demonstration and agitation against MONUSCO throughout Congo and the situation turned violent in Goma (about 350 km south of Beni and a big MONUSCO base) with protesters looting and setting fire to UN property.
- Both Beni and Butembo (with two BSF platoons each deployed) were on high alert.
- Monday passed off peacefully, a senior officer said.
- However, today the situation in Butembo turned violent.
- The camp of Morroco Rapid Deployment battalion where BSF platoons are stationed was surrounded by demonstrators.
- According to BSF, there were reports that armed rebels had infiltrated the demonstrators.
- Congolese Police (PNC) and Congolese Army (FARDC) troops arrived but could not control the crowd estimated to be over 500 people.
- BSF and other security force troops fired tear smoke ammunition to disperse the crowd but they managed to breach the perimeter wall at three different places.
India’s contribution to UN peacekeeping
- India has a long history of service in UN Peacekeeping, having contributed more personnel than any other country.
- To date, more than 2,53,000 Indians have served in 49 of the 71 UN Peacekeeping missions established around the world since 1948.
- Currently, there are around 5,500 troops and police from India who have been deployed to UN Peacekeeping missions, the fifth highest amongst troop-contributing countries.
- India’s contribution to UN Peacekeeping began with its participation in the UN operation in Korea in the 1950s,
- Where India’s mediatory role in resolving the stalemate over prisoners of war in Korea led to the signing of the armistice that ended the Korean War.
- The UN entrusted the Indian armed forces with subsequent peace missions in the Middle East, Cyprus, and the Congo.
Role of women
- India has been sending women personnel on UN Peacekeeping Missions.
- In 2007, India became the first country to deploy an all-women contingent to a UN Peacekeeping Mission.
- The Formed Police Unit in Liberia provided 24-hour guard duty and conducted night patrols in the capital Monrovia, and helped to build the capacity of the Liberian police.
Q) Which country in Africa has the longest coastline?
- South Africa
- Ivory Coast