New York [US], January 6
India is set to deploy a platoon of Women Peacekeepers in Sudan’s Abyei region today as part of the Indian Battalion in the United Nations Interim Security Force (UNISFA).
This will be India’s largest single unit of women Peacekeepers in a UN Mission since it deployed the first-ever all-women contingent in Liberia in 2007, stated the Permanent Mission of India to the UN press release.
In 2007, India became the first country to deploy an all-women contingent to a UN peacekeeping mission. The Formed Police Unit in Liberia provided 24-hour guard duty, conducted night patrols in the capital Monrovia, and helped to build the capacity of the Liberian police.
The Indian contingent, comprising two officers and 25 Other Ranks, will form part of an Engagement platoon and specialize in Community outreach, though they will be performing extensive security-related tasks as well, added the release.
Their presence will be especially welcome in Abyei, where a recent spurt in violence has triggered a spate of challenging humanitarian concerns for women and children in the conflict zone.
The deployment in Abyei will also herald India’s intent of increasing significantly the number of Indian women in Peacekeeping contingents, added the release.
The Security Council, by its resolution 1990 of 27 June 2011, responded to the urgent situation in Sudan’s Abyei region by establishing the UNISFA. The Security Council was deeply concerned by the violence, escalating tensions and population displacement.