Indian Army soldiers deployed under the United Nations Organization Mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo(MONUSCO) rescued 22 children who were in the danger of being turned into child soldiers by the armed groups in the war-ravaged country.
Army officials said, “16 boys and six girls from Nyabiondo, a village in the eastern part of Congo were extricated in a 48-hour long-range mission launched by the Indian rapid deployment battalion.”
An officer said, “The force swung into action on September 16 after receiving the information about the children from the local villagers and foiled attempts by armed groups to turn them into child soldiers. The children were later handed over to the UN child protection agencies.”
On the very same day, another battalion prevented the displacement of an entire village with over 200 families in the Mirki area.
He said, “The exodus was being caused by fighting between rival groups, which had led to panic in the area. The quick show of force by the Indian soldiers drove away from the militant groups and brought the situation under control.”
MONUSCO deploys 2,600 Indian soldiers who are the greatest and most complex UN peacekeeping mission around the globe. They conduct an average of 2,300 patrols every month to ensure the safekeeping of civilians there.
Also, the Indian brigade is deployed in the most unstable province of the central African nation, i.e. the North Kivu province. It covers an area of 43,700 square km with 948 villages and 42 camps from the 1,80,000 internally displaced people.
Indian troops have often been a victim to attack with half a dozen soldiers killed and several injured while performing peacekeeping duties in the country.
India is the second largest troop contributing country in the world. We have around 6,891 Army soldiers, and 782 police personnel stationed in 11 UN missions and two UN offices.
Source: Times of India