India Lost Highest Number of Personnel in United Nations Peacekeeping Missions

As of April 30 of this year, the UN owes India USD 92 million for troops, police units and contingent owned equipment.


India has lost the highest number of its peacekeepers in various UN peacekeeping operations, with 163 out of 3,737 military, police and civilian personnel who died in the line for duty coming from the country, PTI reported. This is the highest total from any troop contributing country, according to the United Nations, that is marking the 70th anniversary of the establishment of its peacekeeping mission since its foray into the Middle East in 1948.

India is also the third largest contributor of military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping, with 6,693 personnel currently deployed in Abyei, Cyprus, Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, the Middle East, South Sudan and Western Sahara. As of April 30, 2018, the United Nations owes India $92 million for troops, police units and contingent owned equipment.

There are currently more than 96,000 uniformed personnel from 124 troop and police contributing countries that serve the United Nations. Over 15,000 international and national civilian staff and nearly 1,600 United Nations volunteers also serve under the blue flag.

On May 29, the UN commemorated the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, which paid tribute to the service of the peacekeepers around the world.

The flagship enterprise of the United Nations — peacekeeping– has been described as “a proven investment in global peace, security and prosperity” by Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

“We express our gratitude to the more than one million men and women who have served under the UN flag, saving countless lives. We honor the more than 3,700 Blue Helmets who have paid the ultimate price. And we pay tribute to the 14 peacekeeping missions working around the clock to protect people and advance the cause of peace,” Guterres was quoted as saying in Mali to mark the International Day of UN Peacekeepers.

Mali is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a UN peacekeeper. Last year, 21 troops serving the UN Stabilization Mission lost their lives, along with with seven civilians, in Mali.

Guterres will also preside over the observance of the loss of lives on June 1, when he will lay a wreath to honor those who lost their lives while in the service of peace. He will also officiate at a ceremony to posthumously present the Dag Hammarskjold Medal to 132 military, police and civilian personnel from 37 countries who died in peacekeeping operations during 2017.

No peacekeeper hailing from India was killed last year. However, in 2016, Rifleman Brijesh Thapa who served with the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Private Ravi Kumar, who was deployed with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, died on the mission and were posthumously awarded the Dag Hammarskjold Medal.

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