By Yoshita Singh
A CONTINGENT of Indian women peacekeepers, the country’s largest single unit of female troops in a UN mission since 2007, arrived in Abyei to begin its deployment with the United Nations Interim Security Force. The United Nations Security Council, by its resolution 1990 of June 27, 2011, responded to the urgent situation in Sudan’s Abyei region by establishing the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).
“Making the nation proud! #India’s all-women peacekeeping unit for @UNPeacekeeping in @UNISFA_1 reached Abyei today,” India’s Permanent Mission to the UN said in a tweet on Saturday.
The platoon of women peacekeepers has been deployed in Abyei as part of the Indian Battalion in the United Nations Interim Security Force, Abyei (UNISFA). This will be India’s largest single unit of women Peacekeepers in a UN Mission since it deployed the first-ever all-women’s contingent in Liberia in 2007. The team will provide relief and assistance to women and children “in one of the highest operational and challenging terrain conditions under the @UN flag”, the Indian Army had said.
As the Indian women peacekeepers departed India on January 6 to begin their deployment with UNISFA, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet, “Proud to see this. India has a tradition of active participation in UN peacekeeping missions. The participation by our Nari Shakti is even more gladdening.” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj tweeted earlier this month, “India is deploying an all #women’s platoon of peacekeepers as part of our battalion to the UN Mission in #Abyei @UNISFA_1. This is the single largest deployment of women #peacekeepers in recent years. Good wishes to the team!”