Kathmandu- Nepal has climbed to the third position in the list of the countries contributing the largest number of peacekeeping troops to the United Nations.
Nepali Army spokesperson Santosh Ballabh Poudel said Nepal ranks third among the countries contributing the highest number of troops to the UN peacekeeping missions.
Currently 5,154 Nepali 'blue helmets' are mobilized in 12 peacekeeping missions in various conflict-hit countries of the world. One hundred and seventy six among them are women soldiers.
One thousand five hundred and fifty Nepali women troops have served the UN peacekeeping missions before this.
One hundred and twenty two countries are contributing their troops for peacekeeping mission at the call of the United Nations.
"The ranking changes dueto the reduction in the number of troops contributed to UN peacekeeping mission by other countries and increase of our troops. At present, the number of troops from Rwanda has decreased and we have climbed to the third position from the fourth," the Army spokesperson said, adding that the United Nations has sometime back also asked for additional 450 troops from Nepal.
Nepali Army has been an integral and leading section of Nepal's presence at the UN peacekeeping missions deployed by the UN under its specified department called Department of Peace Operations. From Asia to Africa to Caribbean, Nepal Army has made an indomitable mark in UN-led peacekeeping missions worldwide.
It has been almost 73 years of the beginning of UN peacekeeping. According to the official UN peacekeeping website, peacekeeping.un.org, the pioneering UN peacekeeping mission was constituted in May of 1948 to monitor the then Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Nepal was associated with UN peacekeeping mission only after a decade of its formation in 1958. UN peacekeeping forces are commonly known as 'blue helmets' and Nepali 'blue helmets' are an established domain in UN system.
Nepali Army is the third largest troops contributor in the UN peacekeeping missions worldwide. Nepal is only behind Bangladesh and Ethiopia in this respect. According to the Nepali Army, as of 29 January 2021, there are 5128 UN peacekeepers from Nepal Army in the dozen peacekeeping missions worldwide.
Out of 5128 peacekeepers, 187 are women. The ongoing Nepal Army missions include Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Central African Republic, Syria, Mali, Lebanon, Israel, Western Sahara, South Sudan and Congo. According to Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Purna Chandra Thapa, Nepal Army has the capacity and commitment to provide 10,000 peacekeepers to the UN if the world body asks to do so.
The Nepali Army has been awarded 135 thousand 343 UN peace medals in a period of 63 years by sending its troops on world peacekeeping missions.
The Nepali Army has been successful in establishing itself as a disciplined, professional and courageous military force and has earned an identity of ‘peace champion’ by winning the hearts of conflict survivors in the peace keeping operations.
The NA has the experiences of working in 42 peace keeping missions across the world.
It is becoming the first preference of the United Nations and the citizens of the war-torn countries due to its friendly nature and outstanding performance in the peace keeping efforts.
The NA has already expressed commitments to send up to 10,000 troops to the peace keeping missions if required and demanded by the UN.
Lieutenant General Ishwar Hamal currently serves as in- charge of the Force Commander of the UNDOF peace mission in Syria, which Nepal received on the basis of its contribution.
Earlier, Krishnanarayan Thapa, Victory Rana, Balananda Sharma, Pawan Jung Thapa and Chief of Army Staff Purna Chandra Thapa had taken charge of Force Commander. The Nepal Army, which is committed to the protection of the country's independence, sovereignty, geographical integrity, independence and national unity, has been at the forefront in terms of serving in conflict- hit countries for the establishment of world peace.
During this period, 68 Nepali army personnel have sacrificed their lives for world peace while the number of injured soldiers stands at 66.
The NA efforts in full compliance with human rights, conflict management and humanitarian assistance have been widely commended by the world community. The United Nations has high hopes, trust and confidence in the Nepali Army in establishing peace in the conflict- ridden nations.