India is all set to deploy a platoon of Women Peacekeepers in Sudan’s Abyei region on 6 January, Friday. It will be India’s largest single unit of women Peacekeepers in a UN Mission after its 2007 first-ever all-women contingent in Liberia. The deployment is part of the Indian Battalion in the United Nations Interim Security Force (UNISFA) stated the Permanent Mission of India in the press release.
2007’s Liberia deployment was not only India’s first time to deploy an all-women contingent to a UN peacekeeping mission but it also became the first country to do so. The Women Police Unit in Liberia supported in building the capacity of the Liberian police and provided 24-hour guard duty and night patrols in the capital Monrovia.
Indian Women Platoon In Sudan
The Indian women’s platoon consisting of two officers and 25 Other Ranks will be part of an Engagement platoon and specialize in Community outreach in Sudan. The major duty will comprise extensive security-related tasks.
Abyei region recently witnessed the violence that has triggered humanitarian concerns for women and children in the conflict zone. The violence inflicted has been escalating tensions and population displacement, which concerned the council and forced them to take act upon it. The press release also indicates the Abyei deployment is to honour India’s intent of inclusivity of Indian women in Peacekeeping contingents. The Indian platoon will be monitoring the flashpoint border between north and south and fostering the delivery of humanitarian aid and using force to protect civilians and humanitarian workers in Abyei.
The Security Council in 2011, responded to the conflict in Sudan’s Abyei region by establishing the UNISFA. The Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) reached an agreement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to demilitarize Abyei and let Ethiopian troops monitor the area, later UNISFA was established.
So far, over 200,000 Indians have served in 49 of the 71 UN peacekeeping missions around the world since 1948. Earlier Indian women severed in the Indian Armed Forces Medical Services and more for UN peacekeeping missions. As part of the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) in Eritrea, Indian engineers helped to rehabilitate roads.
Women Peacekeepers can reach out and connect with women and children in local populations, especially victims of sexual violence in conflict zones, as per the release. Indian women such as Dr. Kiran Bedi, UN’s first Police Adviser, Major Suman Gawani, and Shakti Devi have made a mark for themselves in UN Peacekeeping.
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