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Indian peacekeepers carrying out operation in Congo (Picture Courtesy: Facebook)

India is one of the largest contributors to the United Nations (UN) Peace Keeping missions. It has provided around 2,00,000 troops in almost 50 UN peacekeeping missions in the last seven decades since 1950. Currently, India soldiers are serving in 13 out of 16 missions. One such operation is being carried out in Kibungu area of Democratic Republic of India. The operation is known as Operation Kibungu.

There are three Indian Battalions participation in the operation. These battalions are designated as INDBATT-I, INDBATT-II and INDBATT-III. Earlier in December, INDBATT-I launched a Standing Combat Deployement (SCD) to Kibungu in North Kivu province with total strength of two officers, three JCOs and forty other ranks. Considering the impending elections and dynamic security situation, it is imperative upon MONUSCO to conduct operations under ‘Protection by Projection’.

To address the security threats and to interact with the locals and administration, INDBATT-I launched Op Kibungu from 05 Dec 2018. During the Operation, Force Newsletters were also distributed to the locals for information dissemination about MONUSCO’s activities. This initiative was lauded by locals as it continues to assure about the dedication of MONUSCO towards their safety.

Troops of INDBATT I project the presence of Blue Helmets at Kibungu in North Kivu to gauge the security situation at remote locations in the volatile pre-election phase of strife torn DR Congo assuring people about their safety and unflinching security from the peacekeepers.

Till now, India has lost the highest number of its peacekeepers in various UN peacekeeping operations in the last 70 years. A total of 163 military, police and civilian personnel from India has lost their lives in the various UN missions. India is also considering to double the number of women peacekeepers in UN missions by 2019. Till now India has provided 11 force commanders, five deputy commanders and three military advisers in the missions.

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