Diplomatist Special Report: West Asia - North Africa 2018 WANA 2018 - Page 30

SPECIAL REPORT Indian Peacekeeping contribution for the UN Missions in West Asia & North Africa By UTTARA RAJ* I ndia’s participation in United Nations Peace keeping Operations (UNPKO) is probably without parallel it has been one of the largest contributors of peacekeepers and has suffered the most casualties in the process. Indicative of the thrust of UN peacekeeping missions, 80 percent of India’s peacekeepers are presently serving in Africa and 70 percent of all casualties have been sustained there. Clearly, based on these statistics, UN missions serve as the bedrock of India’s military engagement and assistance to Africa. However, there is a growing debate on the effi cacy of these mis sions and India’s benefi ts from its continued participation. In more ways than one, India and Africa are at crossroads on this issue. Both communities need to move beyond platitudes and engage in a serious, sustained dialogue on India’s role in the future security architecture in Africa. Indian peacekeepers are warmly regarded in the entire African continent. In fact, India has participated in near ly all UN peacekeeping operations in Africa. Recently, people in a South Sudan village have been saved a perilous neck-deep wade across a river to reach a town and 30 •West Asia-North Africa access basic services, thanks to Indian peacekeepers from the UN mission who have re-built a key bridge in record time in the strife-torn country. The bridge in Akoka village in the northern part of the land-locked country in East-Central Africa had been inoperable since last June when heavy rains washed away a 300-me \[ۙYYY[ XZ[[Xܙ L^\HHSZ\[ۈ[]Y[ SRTH[Xܘ][ۈ]Hݙ\Y[ ]\ܙX]H[{ HY[X[]\X[[X[\\ZY[]\H\[\X\]H][]XXX]]Y\BHZ\[ۋXܙ[HS][Y[ 8'HڙX\][[\ܚ]X[Y\Z\[HY[ۋ8'Hۙ[\[H\K[X\HوH[X[[[Y\[˜\[H]XZ[HYK\][Y\^Z[˂'HXZ܈[[H\XۜX[HYBYHXY\Y\XH]H\و\ Y]\š[YHX\8'HHZY HZHYHY\]Y[ݚ[X[\][X[Z[[[ \XY[]ۈۈBXZ܈\XHY][XX\[[[[H[x&\ܝX\\\