An Indian Army officer deployed in Congo as a part of the UN peacekeeping force has died in an accident after he went Kayaking in one of the African great lakes.
Lt Col Gaurav Solanki, who was posted as Military Staff Officer in the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo went missing on September 8 while Kayaking near Tchegera island in Lake Kivu near Goma.
After intensive search including helicopters and speed boat, the officer's body was retrieved on Thursday morning around 11 am inside the sprawling lake at a spot nearly one km from the island, said an Army source here. No further details are available now.
India is one of the world's largest contributor of troops to the UN Peace Keeping forces around the world.
As on March 2015, more than 7000 Indian troops were deployed in nine UN missions around the world and the largest contingent of over 3700 troops was in Congo. Indian deployment in Congo commenced in 2004.
Between 2001 and 2015, as many as 40 Indian armed forces personnel laid down their lives in various UN peacekeeping missions, out of which the maximum number of casualties (20 till March 10, 2015) was recorded in Congo.
Since 1998 India participated in 43 Peacekeeping missions with a total contribution exceeding 180,000 troops and police personnel having also been deployed.