The Indian Army draws its inspiration from the high moral ethics of our long surviving civilization wherein it is considered a righteous duty to take up arms against the evil.
The Bhagwad Gita, a holy religious scripture, states: "Further having regards for thine own duty,
Thou shouldst not falter,
There exists no greater good for a warrior,
Than a battle enjoined by duty"
-- Bhagwad Gita
Not surprisingly therefore, through the ages, the profession of arms has always held a place of pride in Indian society. The officers and men of the Indian Army are proud of their heritage and have an unmatched reputation to live up to. Their sense of commitment to duty inspires them to sacrifices of the highest order to uphold the glorious traditions of the Army. As in numerous and complex UN missions over the past five decades, the Indian Army can be trusted, when called upon, to participate in future UN peacekeeping endeavours with professional plan. All Indian soldiers leaving the shores to participate in a UN mission take a six-point oath administered on behalf of the President of India.
As a responsible member of the international community, India undertakes to participate in Peacekeeping operations under the Flag of United Nations and contribute to establishment and furtherance of international peace and security.
The history of Indian Army's participation is over 57 years old and covers 43 UN missions spanning four continents. Over the course of these years and operations, the professional excellence of the Indian troops has won universal admiration. It has demonstrated Indian Army unique capacity of sustaining large troops/commitments over prolonged periods and established, India as the second largest troops contributor to the UN. It may be noted that India has also offered one brigade of troops to the UN stand-by arrangements. Peacekeeping cannot be equated with normal soldiering where the objectives are clear and straightforward and one is dealing with a known enemy with whom military engagements are implied. On the other hand, a peacekeeping soldiers mandate is much more complicated. Use of his weapons is only a last resort.
Neutrality, fairness and respect for human rights have to be an essential component of his training and at all times he has to also provide an element of reassurance by his very presence. But a peacekeeping soldier is also an important element in the re-establishing and development of trust in the region and society where he is deployed.
In all these areas, the India Army has displayed exemplary professionalism and in the discharge of his duties, the Indian peacekeepers have also suffered significant casualties with an honour roll of 108 to date.
India's Outstanding Peacekeepers
• General K S Thimayya; Chairman of NNRC (Korea) and Force Commander UNFICYP (Cyprus). • Major General SPP Thorat; Commander, Indian Custodian Force in Korea. • Major General P S Gyani; UNIC at Vientiane (Laos), Force Commander, UNEF-I (GAZA), Force Commander, UNYOM (Yemen). • Major General KP Dhargalkar and Major General Sardanand, Military Commanders and alternate delegates to the UNIC at Hanoi (Vietnam) and Phnom Penh (Cambodia). • Major General I J Rikhye; Force Commander, UNEF-I (GAZA), West Irian and UNYOM (Yemen). Later Military Advisor to UNSG. • Lieutenant General Dewan Prem Chand; General Officer Commanding UN Katanga Area, Congo; Force Commander UNFICYP, (Cyprus) & UNTAG (Namibia). • Brigadier R S Noronaha and Brigadier KAS Raja; Commanders 99 (Independent) Infantry Brigade Group in ONUC (Congo). • Lieutenant General Satish Nambiar; Head of Mission and Force Commander, UNPROFOR (Former Yugoslavia) • Brigadier V M Patil; Assistant CMO, UNIIMOG (Iran - Iraq) • Brigadier M P Bhagat; Commander 66 Infantry Brigade (UNOSOM - II), Somalia. Later Dy Military Advisor to UNSG. • Brigadier KS Shivakumar Chief of Staff and Force Commander, UNAMIR (Rwanda). • Brigadier S C Joshi, Chief Military Observer, UNOMSIL (UN Observer Mission in Sierra Leone). • Major General V K Jaitley, Force Commander, UNMASIL (Sierra Leone). • Major General L M Tiwari, Force Commander, UNIFIL (Lebanon). • Brigadier U S Klair, VSM, Chief of Staff, UNIKOM (Kuwait). • Lt Gen Rajender Singh, SM, VSM, Force Commander, UNMEE (Ethiopia-Eritrea). • Lt Gen RK Mehta, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, Military Advisor, DPKO, UN HQ, New York • Brigadier JP Nehra, Deputy Force Commander, UNIFIL (Lebanon).
• Lt Gen JS Lidder, UYSM, AVSM, Force Commander, UNMIS (Sudan). • Maj Gen Bikram Singh, AVSM, SM, VSM, Divisional Commander, MONUC (Congo).
Indian Army's Participation in Past UN Missions
• UN Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission in Korea (NNRC - Nov 50 to 53). • UN International Commission - Indo-China/ Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia (UNIC - 54 to 70) • UN Emergency Force - I- Gaza Strip/Egypt & Israel; (UNEF - I Nov 56 to JUN 67) • UN Observation Group in Lebanon (UNOGIL - JUN 58 to Dec 58) • UN Operations in Congo (ONUC - Jul 60 to JUN 64) • UN Security Force in West New Guinea (West Irian) (UNSF - Oct 62 to Apr 63) • UN Yemen Observation Mission (UNYOM - Jul 63 to Sep 64) • UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP - Jan 64 to Dec 76) • UN Secretary General's Representative in Dominic Republic (DOMREP - May 65 to Oct 66) • UN Iran - Iraq Military Observer Group (UNIIMOG - Aug 88 to Feb 91) • UN Transition Assistance Group in Namibia (UNTAG - May 89 to May 91) • Organisation De Nations Unites AU Central America/Nicaragua (ONUCA - Nov 89 to Jan 92) • UN Observer Mission in El Salvador (ONUSAL - Jul 91 To Apr 95) • UN Iraq - Kuwait Observer Mission (UNIKOM - Apr 91- Jun 2003) • UN Advance Mission in Cambodia (UNAMIC - Oct 91 to Mar 92) • UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC - Feb 92 to Sep 93) • UN Military Liaison Team in Cambodia (UNMLT - Sep 93 to May 94) • UN Protection Force in Former Yugoslavia (UNPROFOR - Mar 92 to Mar 93) • UN Operations in Mozambique (ONUMOZ - Dec 92 to Oct 94) • UN Operations in Somalia - II (UNOSOM - II Mar 93 to Dec 94) • UN Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL - Sep 93 to Sep 97) • UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR - Oct 93 to Mar 96) • UN Advance Mission in Cambodia (UNAMIC - Oct 91 to Mar 92) • UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC - Feb 92 to Sep 93) • UN Military Liaison Team in Cambodia (UNMLT - Sep 93 to May 94) • UN Mission In Bosnia & Herzegovina (UNMIBH - Dec 95 to Dec 2000) • UN Observer Mission In Sierra Leone (UNOMSIL - Jul 98 to Oct 99) • UN Assistance Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL- Nov 99 to Feb 01) • UN Angola Verification Mission - I (UNAVEM - I June 89 - May 91) • UN Angola Verification Mission - II (UNAVEM - II - May 91 - Feb 95) • UN Angola Verification Mission - III (UNAVEM - III Feb 95 to Jun 97) • UN Observer Mission in Angola (UNOMA - Jul 97 to Jul 99) • UN Mission in Burundi (ONUB - Aug 2003 to Jan 2007)
Indian Army's Participation in Present UN Missions
• UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL - Nov 98 till date) • UN Mission in Congo (MONUC - Nov 1999 till date) • UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE - Mar 2001 till date) • UN Mission in Ivory Coast (UNOCI - Jan 2004 till date) • UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS - Jun 2005 till date) • UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF - Jan 06 till date) • UN Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission in Korea (NNRC - Nov 1950 to 1953)
The Indian Army's first commitment on UN assignment came up consequent to the war in Korea. Troops from 16 countries constituted the Multinational Force under General Douglas Macarthur. India contributed 60 Para Field Ambulance to the multinational force. In Mar 51, the Multinational Command planned an airborne assault against a communist position North-West of Seoul. 60 Para Field Ambulance was the only medical unit qualified to take part in the airborne mission along with 4000 American para troops. During the course of fighting, the team treated 400 casualties and performed several life saving surgeries. 60 Para Field Ambulance later became part of the first Commonwealth Division in Korea. The unit treated more than 1800 battle casualties and some 9000 sick and injured, and received the Meritorious Unit Citation (From US Army) in recognition of its contribution towards world peace.
Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission (NNRC)
To resolve the issue of captured prisoners of war, the UN set up NNRC in Korea. Lieutenant. General K S Thimayya, DSO, was appointed as the Chairman with members from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Sweden and Switzerland. India also provided a custodian force under Major General Gen SPP Thorat. The following Indian Army units formed part of the UN Custodian Force.
Force HQ 2 PARA (MARATHA) 6 JAT 5 Rajputana Rifles (NAPIER'S) 3 DOGRA 3 Garhwal Rifle 26 General Hospital
The Indian custodian force rendered yeoman service during the entire span of mission. Their compassion, fairness and neutrality was widely acclaimed. President Eisenhower commended India's impartial and constructive role and wrote to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
"No military unit in recent years has undertaken a more delicate and demanding peace time mission than that faced by the Indian forces in Korea The confidence inspired by the exemplary tact, fairness and firmness shown by the Indian officers and men led by their own able commanders, Lieutenant General K S Thimayya and Major General SPP Throat did much to alleviate the fears and doubts of the prisoners They deserve the highest commendation."
On termination of the mission, the Indian Government awarded the Padma Bhushan to Lieutenant General K S Thimayya and Ashok Chakra to Major General SPP Throat for their distinguished services and generalship.
UN International Commission Indo-China/Vietnam (UNIC - 1954 to 1970)
Pursuant to the Geneva Accord, the International control commission for INDO-CHINA was set up in 1954. India was the chairman of the commission, which implemented the cease-fire agreement between Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and France. India provided one Infantry battalion and supporting staff until the ICC was wounded up in 1970. More than 7000 Indian troops took part in UNIC.
To supervise the observance of the Geneva Agreement, three separate commissions were set up in Indo-China one for each state, with India as the chairman and Canada and Poland as the members. The commission monitored the c ease-fire, re-grouped the armies, prevented hostilities, repatriated prisoners of war and checked the movement of arms across the boarder. The Headquarters of the commission for North Vietnam was at Hanoi. Mr. J Desai was appointed as the ambassador designate and Major General KP Dhargalkar as the alternate delegate.
The Headquarters of the commission for South Vietnam was at Saigon (Now Ho Chi Minh city). The Headquarters of the commission for Laos was at Vientiane. Mr. JN Khosla headed the commission with Major General PS Gyani as the alternate delegate.
The Headquarters of the commission for Cambodia was at Phnom Penh, with Mr. G Parthasarthi as the chairman and Major General Sardanand Singh as his military counterpart. 2 GUARDS was sent to Indo-China, a month after the commission was established.
UN Emergency Force - I - Gaza Strip/ Egypt & Israel (UNEF - I Nov 56 to Jun 67)
Combined military actions against Egypt by the Anglo-French forces in October 1956, resulted in gaining control of Port Said & Port Fu'ad in the Suez Canal. Simultaneously, Israeli forces captured most of the Sinai Peninsula and a 43 km long Egyptian territorial stretch known as the "GAZA STRIP". The UNEF was the key element in the UN’s efforts to resolve the crisis following cessation of hostilities between Egypt and Israel.
Tasks before Indian Contingent.
• Exchange of prisoners of war between Egyptian and Anglo-French forces. • Monitored withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Sinai Peninsula. • Act as buffer between opposing forces till 1967. • Indian Army units, which formed part of UNEF - I task force from 1956-67.
3 Parachute Regiment 2 MARATHA L I 1 Parachute Regiment 9 DOGRA 2 Grenadiers 3 PUNJAB 4 KUMAON 1 SIKH L I 4 RAJPUT 4 GUARDS 2 SIKH
UNEF is a splendid example of the usefulness of UN peacekeeping forces and their limitations as well. Its establishment in Oct 1956 put an end to a destructive war, and for more than a decade it effectively maintained peace in one of the most sensitive areas of the Middle East. The Indian contribution accounted for the bulk of the UN forces and our 11 years from 1956 to 1967, more then 12,000 Indian troops took part in UNEF. UN Observation Group in Lebanon (UNOGIL - June 58 to Dec 58)
In May 1958, armed rebellion broke out in Lebanon, The disturbance started from the pre-dominantly Moslem city of Tripoli and soon spread out to Beirut and northern and northeastern areas near Syrian border, which endangered the "maintenance of international peace and security".
India contributed 20 military observers out of a total of 591. Secretary General appointed Mr. Rajeshwar Dayal of India as the member of UNOGIL. Function of UNOGIL was to ensure, no illegal infiltration of personnel or supply of arms or other material across the Lebanese borders.
United Nations Operations in Congo (ONUC - July 1961- June 1964)
Operations des Nations Unites au. Congo (ONUC) was established in the Republic of the Congo, later Zaire (Now Democratic Republic of Congo) from July 1960 to June 1964. It was for the first time that a UN peacekeeping mission was embroiled by force of circumstances in a chaotic internal situation of extreme complexity and had to assume certain responsibilities, which were beyond normal peacekeeping duties. It was also the first time that the task before UN was to prevent intra-country strife instead of inter-country warfare and thus the concept of UN peace enforcement took shape.
The Indian Armed forces contribution to the ONUC consisted of an infantry brigade group deployed at Katanga with Brigadier KAS Raja as Commander. Brigadier RS Naronha later replaced him. Major General Dewan Prem Chand commanded HQ Katanga Area (UN) during the Operations.
Indian Units Forming Part of ONUC.
• HQ 99 Infantry Brigade • 1DOGRA • 2JAT • 3/1 Gorkha Rifles • Squadron of 63 Cavalry • 120 Heavy Mortar Battery • 13 Field Company • Company of 4 MAHAR Machine Gun Battalion • 95 Field Ambulance • Flight of Six Canberra Air Crafts (from number 5 Squadron, of Indian Air Force)
Units on Turn Over.
• 4 MADRAS • 4 Rajputana Rifles (OUTRAMS) • 2/4 Gorkha Rifles • Sub-Units of 63 Cavalry and 4 MAHAR • Machine Gun Battalion • 121 Heavy Mortar Battery • 22 Field Company
Use of Force
On 21 February 1961, the Security Council adopted Resolution 161 by which it authorised ONUC to use force, as a last resort to prevent civil war. Indian Army's action in Congo thus became the first peace enforcement operation in the history of the United Nations. 99 Infantry Brigade Group under Brigadier K S Raja launched operations in Katanga province on 31 Dec 1961 and regained full control of Katanga amidst stiff resistance offered by a breakaway faction (Katangese gendarmerie) led by Belgium officers.
By the end of 1962, the gendarmerie once again commenced attacks on UN forces. Resolute leadership by Major General Dewan Prem Chand and Brigadier R S Noronha ensured the swift advance of Indian Brigade into key town of Kowlezi across destroyed bridges over Lufeira River, which stunned and surprised the rebels. The Gendarmerie suffered high reverses and were demoralised in the face of Indian onslaught and laid down their arms, resulting in reunification of Congo. Casualties-147 (including 39 killed in action).
UN Security Force in West New Guinea (West Irian) (UNSF - Oct 62 to Apr 63)
The territory of west New Guinea (West Irian) had been in the possession of the Netherlands since 1828. Consequent to the Independence of Indonesia in 1949, serious differences arose over the status of West Irian between Indonesia and Netherlands. This led to the establishment of UN Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) and UN Security Force (UNSF) in 1962. The Secretary General Mr. U Thant, appointed Brigadier IJ Rikhye (Later Major General), his Military Advisor, to head the military observer team that was to supervise all arrangement for the cease-fire. India also provided two military observes from its contingent serving in Congo. Besides supervising the cease-fire, the UN observers helped resupply the Indonesian troops with food, medicines and assisted in regrouping at selected places. By 21 September 1962, Major General I J Rikhye had completed the task in accordance with the memorandum to UNSF, thus fulfilling the mandate of cessation of hostilities without any incident. It was a spectacular achievement.
United Nations Yemen Observation Mission (UNYOM - Oct 62 to Sep 63)
The civil was which broke out in Yemen in Sep 1962 contained the seeds of wider conflict with international dimensions, due to involvement of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Republic (EGYPT) and sharing of extended border by Saudi Arabia with Yemen.
The mission comprised of 200 personnel with 25 Military Observers including those from India. Lieutenant General PS Gyani for India, then commander of UNEF, was temporarily appointed as Commander of UNYOM. Major General IJ Rikhye helped to organise and establish the UN observer group in Yemen. The task of UNTOM were limited to strictly to observing, certifying and reporting in connection with the intentions of Saudi Arabia to end activities in support of the royalists in Yemen and inventors of Egypt to withdraw its troops from Yemen.
UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP - Jan 64 to Dec 76)
The Republic of Cyprus became an independent state on 16 August 1960 under an agreement between Greece and Turkey. The ethnic composition of the population, their mutual suspicion and Politics led to a conflict between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.
India's Lieutenant General PS Gyani was appointed personal representative of the UN Secretary General and later as the Force Commander of 6400 troops deployed in Cyprus. He was succeeded by General KS Thimayya, DSO in June 1964 and remained in that post until his death in December 1965. Later in December 1965, Major General Dewan Prem Chand, PVSM of ONUC (Congo) fame was appointed as the Force Commander, who held that assignment for seven long years. The outstanding performance of the three Indian Force Commanders in Cyprus has been widely acclaimed.
UN Secretary General's Representative in the Dominican Republic (DOMREP - Jan 64 - Dec 76)
A political crisis developed in the Dominican Republic, towards the end of April 1965, resulting in civil strife that had considerable international repercussions resulting into two rival governments. The military phase of the crisis took place mainly in Santo Domingo. This led to establishment of an inter-American force on 06 May 1965, to operate under the authority of the Secretary General.
The main purpose of the mission was to help resolve normal conditions in the Dominican Republic. Maintain the security of its inhabitants. Inviolability of human rights. Create atmosphere of peace and conciliation that would permit the functioning of democratic institution. Major General I J Rikhye as Military Advisor, who led the advance party to Santo Domingo with military observers from Brazil, Canada and Ecuador, represented India.
United Nations Iran - Iraq Military Observer Group (UNIIMOG - Aug 88 to Feb 91)
UN efforts at end the eight-year war (1980-88) between Iran and Iraq led to the establishment of the United Nations Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group (UNIIMOG). The mandate was "to verify, confirm and supervise the cease-fire and withdrawal". The term of reference set out were: -
• Establishment wit Namibia formerly know as south west Africa, was annexed by Germany in 1884 and retained control of it until the first world war, when an invasion by South Africa resulted in the defeat of German forces in 1915. South West Africa (Namibia) was handed over to South Africa in the early 1920s by the League of Nations. In 1945, the UN requested South Africa to return South West Africa to the UN as one of their de-colonization measures. Since then, it has been a long story of struggle for independence for people of Namibia, till UN established the United Nations Transition. Assistance Group (UNTAG) in May 1989.
UNTAG was essentially a political operations. Its basic mandate was to ensure that free and fair elections could be held in Namibia. The wide variety tasks undertaken, many of which went well beyond those previously undertaken by more traditional peacekeeping operations. UNTAG operations had many novel features and constituted an evolutionary step beyond the traditional peacekeeping. The political process involved Namibia's transition from an illegally occupied colony to sovereign and independent state. UNTAG thus had to perform varied tasks: -
• Monitoring implementing of the cease-fire. • Withdrawal and de-mobilization of troops. • Monitoring of local police. • Managing political "normalisation" process. • Supervising and controlling the resultant election. • Assisting the transition to Independence.
Lieutenant General Diwan Prem Chand, PVSM of Congo & Cyprus fame, and 15 Military Observers represented India. Lieutenant General Diwan Prem Chand was appointed as the Force Commander - designate in 1980 and had played an active part in the preparation for the UNTAG Operations. He ensured cordial relationship and chose coordination with the special representative and also between the military and civilian components of UNTAG. The Namibian success story owes a lot to the untiring and able leadership of Lieutenant General Dewan Prem Chand, PVSM spread over a decade. Incidentally UNTAG was his last and most challenging UN Peacekeeping Mission. Mr. Brajeshwar Dayal of India also contributed as the United Nations commissioner for Namibia (1982-1987) to the overall success of the peace process.
Peacekeeping in Central America United Nations Observer Group in Central America (ONUCA-Nov 89 to Jan 92) & United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador (ONUSAL - July 91 to April 95)
Years of turmoil in the Central America eventually led to the establishment of the UN observer group, Organisation de Nations Unies an Central America (UNUCA). It was deployed in December 1989 to verify compliance with security commitments undertaken by the govt of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Because of the nature of terrain in the region, ONUCA operations involved mobile teams of military observers patrolling from verification centers and smaller operational post in the forward areas. Patrols were carried out by land by air and by river. India provided five military observers for ONUCA. ONUSAL was launched as an offshoot to ONUCA, to monitor all agreements concluded between the government of El Salvador and FMLN (Frente Farabundo Marti Para la Liberacio`n Nacional) on 26 July 91. India provided four military observers for UN Observer Mission in El Salvador ONUCA vividly illustrated the complex demands made of the organizations peacemaking and peacekeeping skills and the varied role it played in advancing the peace process in Central America by assisting the parties, to control and resolve the conflict in the region. The Secretary General paid a rich tribute to military and civilian personnel of ONUCA and ONUSAL for their great success in restoring peace and stability in Central America.
UN Iraq - Kuwait Observer Mission (UNIKOM - April 91 - 2003)
In January 1991, the occupation of Kuwait by Iraq led to a military action against it by a multinational force with the consent of the UN Security Council. The UN Security Council imposed sanctions against Iraq and established a demilitarized zone (DMZ) along the Iraq - Kuwait border. The UN Iraq - Kuwait Observer Mission (UNIKOM) was deployed in May 1991.
The UNIKOM’s mandate was to monitor the DMZ and Khawr' Abd Allah waterway between Iraq and Kuwait; to deter violations of the boundary through its presence in, and surveillance of the DMZ. The DMZ is about 200 km long, extends 10 km into Iraq and 5 km into Kuwait. The Khawr' Abd Allah waterway is about 40 km.
The concept of operations of UNIKOM is:
• Monitor the withdrawal of any armed forces from the DMZ. • Operate Observation post inside the DMZ and on the main roads to monitor traffic in aid out the DMZ • Conduct patrols throughout the DMZ by land and air. • Monitor the Khawr' Abd Allah from the observation post set up its shores and by air. • Carry out investigation.
As in Jun 2001, the mission had a total strength of 1099 including 195 military observers. India provided military observers every year to the mission from 1991 to 2003.
UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL - Nov 98 to date)
Lebanon is one of the smallest countries in the Middle East located along the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The country has a population of 3.6 million which comprises 65% Muslims, 30% Christians and 5% others. The problem in Middle East is historical. After a failed attempt by the Palestinians to overthrow King Hussein of Jordan in 1970, they were expelled from Jordan and the PLO fighters came to South Lebanon. From there they launched repeated attacks against Israel inviting regular reprisals. In Mar 1978, a PLO commando raid in Tel Aviv resulted in 37 killed and 98 wounded. Consequently, Israel invaded and occupied South Lebanon up to Litani River.
The UN Interim Force in Lebanon was sent to monitor Israeli Defense Force withdrawal, maintain peace and security in Southern Lebanon and assist Lebanese government in its effective functioning. The UNIFIL has provided much needed relief to the population in these areas.
India is contributing an Inf Bn Gp and SOs to the Msn since 1998. Indian Army has contributed the following infantry battalion groups to UNIFIL: -
The situation on Blue Line is generally peaceful. Consequent to the 34 Day War between the Hezbollah and IDF, the strength of the Mission has been increased to 15, 000. Political rhetoric between the two factions continues.
UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE - Mar 2001 to date)
Ethiopia, sub-Saharan Africa's oldest state, formerly called Abyssinia and Eritrea are located in the strategic important Horn of Africa in Central East Africa. Ethiopia and Eritrea were originally one country called Ethiopia. It was an Italian Colony. At the end of World War II the victorious Allied Powers and the UN discussed the future of Eritrea. Eritrea achieved independence in 1993. The relationship between the two countries remained healthy till 1998. The relationship however, subsequently soured and the two nations went to war from May 98 to Jun 2000. The contributing factors were: -
Access to Ports. Ethiopia, a landlocked country, was using ports and transit facilities at Assab as per a bilateral agreement. However, Eritrea unilaterally raised the tariff for use of the port facilities by Ethiopia. Currently, Eritrea controls access to the two important ports of Massawa and Assab on the Red Sea
Nakfa. Both countries had agreed to a common currency (Birr - Ethiopian currency). However, Eritrea unilaterally changed its currency to Nakfa and insisted on tariff payment by Ethiopia in hard currency.
Border Dispute. At the time of Eritrean independence, the border was not clearly demarcated. Based on colonial maps, Eritrea laid claims to Badme, Zala Ambessa and Bure. This was opposed by Ethiopia.
After two years of fierce fighting, in Jun 2000, the Org of African Unity (OAU) and the UN managed to broker peace between them. The Algiers Agreement was signed on 12 Dec 2000 leading to deployment of 4,200 UN Peace Keepers in Ethiopia & Eritrea (UNMEE). The Mission was established under Chapter VI. The UN troops are deployed in the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) to monitor ceasefire between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Indian Army has been contributing troops to UNMEE since 2001. The following units have participated in the UNMEE: -
• 12 MARATHA LI • 27 RAJPUT • 15 SIKH LI • 13 KUMAON • 13 JAKRIF • 3 GRENADIERS • 2 DOGRA • COY 9 PARA (SF) • CONSTRUCTION ENGINEER COY • SURGICAL TEAM • STAFF OFFICERS AND MILITARY OBSERVERS
No progress has taken place to resolve the boundary issue between the two countries. Of late, Eritrea has become restless and is resorting to political rhetoric against Ethiopia and the UN for inaction. The military situation remains generally stable. Efforts are underway to resolve the impasse.
UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS - Jun 2005 to date)
Sudan is located in NE Africa and is the largest African country. Topographically, it is extremely diverse and is home to deserts, mountains, swamps and rain forests. It has a population of 33.6 millions with 70% Sunni Muslims in North and 30 % Christians in the South. Arabic is the official language. The conflict in Sudan is intra-state and mainly ethnic in nature between the Muslims in the North and Christians in the South.
Except for a brief 11 yr period of political stability (1972-1983), Sudan has been troubled by ethnic conflict ever since its independence in 1956. A Civil War broke out in the South between Government forces and Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) after Government imposed Sharia (Islamic Law) in the entire country. The civil war continued for the last two decades resulting in more than 1.5 million people killed and four million displaced.
Government and SPLA signed the Machakos Agreement in Jul 2002 vide which the Government accepted the right of Southerners to self-determination while the SPLA accepted the imposition of Sharia law in the North. The agreement envisages a six-year transition period during which the SPLA controlled south would be autonomous. This would be followed by an internationally supervised referendum whereby the Southern population will be able to choose whether to remain part of Sudan or become independent.
A UN Mission under Chapter VI was established in Mar 2005. The strength of the Mission is 15,000 pers. India is the largest troop contributor in the Mission and one infantry battalion group been allocated the Malakal Sector, which is also the largest Sector in the Msn.
Indian Army has contributed the following troops for the Mission: -
• SECTOR HQ • 8 JAK LI • 1/5 GORKHA RIFLES • 2 RAJPUT • 7 JAT • FORCE SIGNAL COY • CONSTRUCTION ENGINEER COY • TRANSPORT COY • LEVEL 2 HOSPITAL • COY 9 PARA (SF) • STAFF OFFICERS AND MILITARY OBSERVERS
The SPLA / M leader and Sudanese Vice President, Mr. John Garang died in a helicopter crash on 31 Jul 05. This was a major impediment in the peace process. Notwithstanding, the peace process has already commenced in the right earnest after establishment of UNMIS albeit with a little delay.
UN Disengagement Observer Mission in Golan Heights (UNDOF - Jan 2006 to date)
On 6 October 1973 war erupted in the Middle East between Egyptian and Israeli forces in the Suez Canal area and the Sinai, and between Israeli and Syrian forces on the Golan Heights. On 24 October, as fighting between Egypt and Israel reached a critical stage, the Security Council decided to set up a second United Nations Emergency Force UNEF II. The Force was immediately moved into place between the Israeli and Egyptian armies in the Suez Canal area, and its arrival effectively stabilized the situation.
In the Israel-Syria sector tension remained high, and from March 1974 the situation became increasingly unstable. Against this background, the United States undertook a diplomatic initiative, which resulted in the conclusion of an Agreement on Disengagement (S/11302/Add.1, annexes I and II) between Israeli and Syrian forces. The Agreement provided for an area of separation and for two equal zones of limited forces and armaments on both sides of the area, and called for the establishment of a United Nations observer force to supervise its implementation. The Agreement was signed on 31 May 1974 and, on the same day, the Security Council adopted resolution 350 (1974) by which it set up the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). The Force has since performed its functions effectively, with the cooperation of the parties. The situation in the Israel-Syria sector has remained quiet. Both parties cooperate fully with the mission and for a number of years there have been no serious incidents.
In order to carry out its mandate, UNDOF maintains an area of separation, which is some 80 kilometres long and varies in width between approximately 10 kilometres in the centre to less than one kilometre in the extreme south. The terrain is hilly and is dominated in the north by Mount Hermon. The highest United Nations position is at an altitude of 2,800 metres. The area of separation is inhabited and is policed by the Syrian authorities. No military forces other than UNDOF are permitted within it.
UNDOF is entirely deployed within and close to the area of separation, with two base camps, 44 permanently manned positions and 11 observation posts. The headquarters of UNDOF is located at Camp Faouar and an office is maintained at Damascus. In addition, the Force operates patrols by day and night. The Austrian battalion, which includes a Slovak company, is deployed in the northern part of the area of separation, while the Polish battalion is deployed in the southern part. Its base camp is Camp Ziouani. Both battalions under the operational control of UNDOF headquarters conduct mine clearance. The Force is assisted by the military observers of UNTSO's Observer Group Golan.
The Indian and Japanese logistic units, which are based in Camp Ziouani, with a detachment in Camp Faouar, perform the second-line general transport tasks, rotation transport, control and management of goods received by the Force and maintenance of heavy equipment. First-line logistic support is internal to the contingents and includes transport of supplies to the positions.
The Indian Army has contributed a logistics coy comprising 191 personnel to UNDOF since Mar 06. The logistics coy has a major complement of 17 HORSE along with other support arms and services.
Current Indian Army Participation in PKOs Status as on 31 Dec 07.
The Indian Army is currently deployed on the following missions: -
UNHQ. Two offrs in mil org of DPKO and one as part of SMC (UNIFIL).
UNIFIL. Dy Force Cdr, Dy Chief integrated Sp system, Inf Bn Gp, Indian Medical Team and Staff Pers.