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Source: The post is based on the article “Most soldiers killed in action during UN missions were Indian” published in The Hindu on 29th May 2023
What is the News?
Recently, the United Nations has observed the 75th anniversary of its peacekeeping missions. During a ceremony, the UN paid tribute to the more than 4,000 peacekeepers who have died on duty.
Data show that since the inception of UN peacekeeping missions, most of the lives lost during peacekeeping missions due to malicious acts were of Indian troops.
About United Nations Peacekeeping forces
|Must read: About United Nations Peacekeeping forces|
About the loss of life among United Nations Peacekeeping forces
71 operations were conducted till date by United Nations Peacekeeping forces. This has seen participation from 2 million peacekeepers from 125 nations.
In total, more than 4,200 peacekeepers have died — 1,481 due to illness, 1,386 due to accidents, 316 due to other causes, and the rest due to malicious acts.
The first military observers were sent by the UN Security Council to oversee the Israeli-Arab Armistice Agreement in May 1948
About the loss of Indian soldiers in peacekeeping missions
Indian troops and experts have played a significant role in the UN’s peacekeeping missions.
In total, 1,115 peacekeepers have died on the field due to malicious acts, of which 69 were from India.
The United Nations Operation in the Congo (ONUC) between July 1960 and June 1964 proved to be the deadliest for Indian troops and experts, with 36 Indian armed force personnel were killed and 15 dying due to malicious acts.
The United Nations Operation in Somalia II (UNOSOM) between March 1993 and 1995 resulted in the loss of 12 Indian troops and experts due to malicious acts.
Among ongoing missions, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) recorded the deaths of seven Indian troops.
Note: In the ongoing missions, most Indians (2,426) are part of the UNMISS. This is followed by the UN stabilisation mission in Congo (MONUSCO) and United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNFIL).
About the current contribution of troops for UN Peacekeeping Force
Currently, UN peacekeeping missions involve 6,097 Indian personnel. This is the third highest after Bangladesh (7,237) and Nepal (6,264).
Four of the top five contributions come from the Indian subcontinent. Most of the troop and expert contributions have come from poor- or middle-income countries.