Press Esc to close
Wednesday 01 June 2016
News updated at 1:23 AM IST
Weather
Max: 31.2°C
Min : 21.7°C
In Bengaluru
Sunny day

Dying for peace

India, which is among the largest contributors of personnel for United Nations’ peacekeeping missions, has incurred a heavy cost in terms of human lives in the course of its operations. In 2013, it lost seven of its soldiers – the second highest number of fatalities of any troop contributing country.

A fifth of all UN peacekeeping fatalities last year were from India. All seven deaths came in the course of peacekeeping operations in South Sudan; five of them in an ambush in Jonglei state in April and two when a base of the UN Mission in South Sudan came under rebel attack. In over 60 years of participation in UN peacekeeping missions, India has suffered 154 fatalities – the highest for any country.

One reason for high Indian fatalities is that we have never been risk-averse in deployment. Indian peacekeepers have deployed without hesitation in zones of extreme uncertainty. Besides, increasingly, peacekeeping missions are in the middle of an active conflict as in South Sudan, for instance. Our peacekeepers there are often in the direct line of fire of one side or another.

Some in India have suggested downsizing our peacekeeping involvement. This is not an option and unbecoming of a rising power committed to global peace. Instead, India must play a bigger role in crafting the rules of peacekeeping. Some of the new rules are putting the lives of our peacekeepers in greater jeopardy. For instance, in March last year, the UN Security Council authorised an ‘intervention brigade’ for the Democratic Republic of Congo with a mandate to carry out offensive military action against rebels.

Aimed at giving peacekeeping operations some teeth, intervention brigades could make traditional peacekeepers more vulnerable to attacks. As part of the peacekeeping unit, the intervention brigades wear the same uniform and there is a danger that combatants seeking to retaliate against personnel of intervention brigades may attack the traditional peacekeepers. It could mean a rise in fatalities of traditional peacekeepers, an issue of concern for India.

Rules of peacekeeping are being changed without consulting countries like India that provide the peacekeepers and suffer heavy casualties. These peacekeepers sacrifice their lives for the cause of peace. The list of fatalities bears testimony to these sacrifices. The least the UN can do is to listen to those who are out there on the frontlines giving substance to its commitment to global peace and carrying forward its peacekeeping mandate.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Biking Queens Yugma Desai, Sarika Mehta, Khyati N. Desai and Durriya M. Tapiya...

Biking Queens Yugma Desai, Sarika Mehta, Khyati N. Desai and Durriya M. Tapiya...

Camels with sign boards of BJP President Amit Shah during Sardar Patel Kisan Maha Sammelan...

Camels with sign boards of BJP President Amit Shah during Sardar Patel Kisan Maha Sammelan...

Restoration work in progress after an empty coach derailed off a slow track between Lower Parel...

Restoration work in progress after an empty coach derailed off a slow track between Lower Parel...

People dressed up as famous personalities taking part in the 'Carnival rally' to mark World No...

People dressed up as famous personalities taking part in the 'Carnival rally' to mark World No...

Police personal pay a final tribute to mortal remains of De Javaregowda, at Kuvempu Vidyavardhaka..

Police personal pay a final tribute to mortal remains of De Javaregowda, at Kuvempu Vidyavardhaka..

Couples embrace along the shores of the Arabian Sea in Mumbai, India ...

Couples embrace along the shores of the Arabian Sea in Mumbai, India ...

Children wear masks during an awareness campaign on 'World No Tobacco' day in Kolkata...

Children wear masks during an awareness campaign on 'World No Tobacco' day in Kolkata...

A view of Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium in Bengaluru on Tuesday...

A view of Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium in Bengaluru on Tuesday...

Bollywood actress Huma Qureshi performs at the CEAT Cricket Rating awards night in Mumbai...

Bollywood actress Huma Qureshi performs at the CEAT Cricket Rating awards night in Mumbai...

Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez with Malaika Arora Khan on the sets of a TV show...

Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez with Malaika Arora Khan on the sets of a TV show...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523