Anand Kumar Tiwari
Research Scholar, Dept. of Pol. Sc.,
S.C. College , Ballia.
Time and time again India has risked the lives of its soldiers in its efforts of keeping peace. India’s Ideal has always been to maintain the International peace and security. Indian troops have taken part in some of the most difficult operations and have suffered casualties in the services of the U.N. Professional excellence of the Indian troops has won universal admiration. India has taken part in the UN peace keeping operations in four continents. Its most significant contribution has been the peace and stability in Africa and Asia. It has demonstrated its unique capacity of sending large troops commitments over prolonged periods. Presently India is ranked in one of the largest troop contributors to the UN. India has also offered one brigade of troop to the UN standby arrangements. Over 55000 Indians military and Police personnel have served under the UN flag in 35 UN peace keeping operations in all the continents of the globe.
India provided a paramedical army to facilitate withdrawal of the sick at wounded in Korea. After the ceasefire India became the Chairman of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission. One brigade troop of the Indian army participated in the operation in Korea authorized by the UN General Assembly through uniting for peace resolution. Indian troops provide guards for the POW. The Chairman of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission was Lt. Gen. K.S. Thimmaya and the commander of the custodian force to take custody of the POW numbering over 22000 was Maj. Gen. S.P.P. Thorat.
India has also contributed to peace in the Middle East. The United Nations Emergency force was created in 1965 following cessations of hostilities between Egypt and Israel. India provided an infantry battalion which accounted for the bulk of the UN force. Over 11 years from 1956 to 1967 more than 12000 Indian troops took part in UNEF.
Pursuant to the Geneva Accord , an International Control Commission for Indo-China was setup in 1954. India was the Chairman of the commission which implemented the ceasefire agreement between Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and France. India provided one infantry battalion and supporting staff until the ICC was wound up in 1970.
The UN faced one of the worst crises when war between the government and the secessionist forces broke out in Congo. The UN operation in Congo ONUC was unique from many perspectives. The operation involved heavy casualties. It was also the first time that the UN undertook an operation in an intra-state, rather than an inter-state conflict. The operation upheld the National unity and territorial integrity of Congo. India contingent lost 39 men daing its action in Combo. The performance of the Indian troops was distinguished by their discipline, self restraint and humanitarian concern.
Indian Army provided a force commander and observers for the observer Mission in Yemen in 1963-64. India also participated in the UN operation in Cyprus (UNFICYP). India provided three force commanders to UNFICYP- Gen. K.S. Thimmaya, Lt. Gen. P.S. Gyani and Lt. Gen. Dewan Prem Chand.
The UN has set up a Military Observer Group to monitor the situation on Iran-Iraq border. India provided military observers during the period 1988-90. Following the end of GulfWar, the UN established the UN Iraq-Kuwait observer Mission (UNIKOM). Indian observers continnously participate in such operation. UN operation in Namibia is considered one of the success stories of the United Nation. Lt. Gen. Dewan Prem Chand was the force commander. Indian Military observers in namibia were responsible for the smooth withdrawal of foreign troops, elections and subsequent handing over of the authories to the government.
UN has established the UNUMOZ to restore peace and conduct elections in Mozambique. India has provided a large contingent of staff officers, military observers, independent headquarters company and engineering and logistics company. The operation ended successfully.
One of the biggest peace keeping operations which was completed successfully was the UN operation in Combodia. India has provided an infantry battalion, military observers and a field ambulance unit. India has regularly sent military observers to various UN operations. This includes OSUCA(Central America) in 1990-92, ONESAL (EL Salvador) in 1991 and UNOMILI(Liberia) in 1994. The operation in Somalia is considered one of the most difficult and challenging operations, the UN has ever attempted. Indian naval Ships and personnel were involved in patrolling duties of the Somali Coast, in humanitarian assistance on shore and also in the transportation of men and material for the United Nations. The UNOSOM II operation involved peace enforcement under Chapter XII. The objective was humanitarian relief. The Indian contingent successfully combined often conflicting soles of coercive disarmament and humanitarian relief to the civilian population. With stand alone capacity, the Indian Brigade had whilled the operational responsibilities for one third of Somalia viz- 173000 Sq. Kms areas of responsibilities the largest ever held by any contingent. In spite of such a large area of operations, there were minimum civilian casualties in the area of responsibilities of the Indian contingent. The Indian contingent has dug a large number of wells, constructed schools, and mosques and some mobile dispensaries and relief camps which provided vetenary care, medical and dispensaries and relief to a large number of Somalis and their livestocks. In spite of suffering casualties, the Indian contingent exercised utmost restraint in firing in self defense. It also organized and carried out rehabilitation and resettlement of thousands of refugees and helped to repatriate them to their homes. The Indian contingent played a vital role in serving the political process by organizing reconciliation meetings. The last remaining units of the Indian contingent were repatriated from Somalia on board Indian naval Ships from Kismayo port. India has demonstrated its capacity to provide an integrated force comprising land and naval forces as well as air support.
India provided a contingent comprising one infantry battalion and support elements to the UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda securing for the refugees and to create conditions for free and fair elections. After the successful completion of the assignment the Indian was repatriated in April 1996.
The Indian army has participated in the successive phases of the UN Mission in Angola since 1989. The Indian contingent comprised one infantry battalion group, one engineer company, staff officers and military observers. The contingent has made a sizable contribution towards construction of quartering camps. The Indian contingent was also involved in rebuilding bridges over the Congo, Rio Quisaja, Rio Mugige and Rio Nihia Rivers. One high risk task was the demining of the main enternal; roas connecting Lobito and Huambo and repaising a 60 mile stretch of the road. The Indian contingent has also built a 3300 feet airstrip at Londuimbali. The Deputy Force Commander was an Indian Army officer. India also participated in the U.N. observer Mission in Angola (MONUN) which succeeded U.N.M.F.M.III. The Chief Military observer of the U.N. observer Mission in Sierra Leone (UNOMSIL) was also an Indian army officer. India provided a medical team and civilian police personnel to UNOMS II.
After the upgradation of the U.N. Mission in Sierra Leone in November- December 1999, India provided two infantry battalion groups, a quick action company, a field engineering company, a level III medical facility, a special police company, an artittery battery, Transport and attack helicopters and the backbone of the force H.Q. in Freetown. The noble task of India is being oppreaciated call over world. Sources-materials collected from UNO study centre, New Delhi