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Indian army to deploy 2,300 personnel to join UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan

Feb 14, 2018 11:08 IST
Indian army to deploy 2,300 personnel to join UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan

The Indian army would be deploying about 2300 personnel in South Sudan, as a part of UN’s peacekeeping mission in the war-torn nation. The announcement was made by Army Spokesperson Col Aman Anand.

The mission aims to bring about peace and normalcy in the nation. The Indian army personnel chosen for the mission belong to the Infantry battalion of Garhwal Rifles regiment. 

The unit will be in operational control of the sensitive Jonglei state of South Sudan.

Significance

This is the first time that troops from the Garhwal regiment have been nominated for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

India and UN Peacekeeping missions

• India has been the largest troop contributor to UN missions since its inception, having 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.

• In 2014, India was the third largest troop contributor with 7,860 personnel deployed with ten UN Peacekeeping Missions of which 995 were police personnel, including the first Female Formed Police Unit under the UN.

• In 2017, a total of 7,606 Indian peacekeepers were deployed in UN missions.

• Besides this, India has also been contributing to the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund.

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Background

• South Sudan is the world's newest nation. It formally gained its independence from (North) Sudan on July 9, 2011.

• The nation became the 193rd member of the United Nations on July 14, 2011.

• In December 2013, a political power struggle broke out between the nation’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his former deputy Riek Machar, as the president accused Machar and ten others of attempting a coup against his government.

• Machar denied the accusations and fled to lead the SPLM – in opposition (SPLM-IO).

• Thereafter, fighting broke out between the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and SPLM-IO, igniting the civil war.

• The United Nations has deployed peacekeepers in the country as part of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

• The war has resulted in the displacement of over 3 million people from the nation’s total population of 12 million, with about 2 million being displaced internally and about 1 million fleeing to neighbouring nations such as Kenya, Sudan and Uganda.

• The number of people facing starvation in the nation, as a result of fighting in the agricultural heart of the country, is about 6 million.

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