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Nepal ranks third in list of highest troop-contributing countries to UN peacekeeping

2021 Jun 29, 13:43, Kathmandu
This undated image shows Nepali Army personnel patrolling. Photo: RSS

Nepal has climbed to the third position in the list of countries contributing the largest number of peacekeeping troops to the United Nations.

Nepal Army Spokesperson Santosh Ballabh Poudel said Nepal ranks third among the countries contributing the highest number of troops to the UN peacekeeping missions.

Currently 5,128 Nepali 'blue helmets' have been mobilised in 12 peacekeeping missions in various conflict-hit countries of the world, among which there are 176 women soldiers.

Prior to this, 1,550 Nepali women soldiers have served in the UN peacekeeping missions.

A total of 122 countries have been contributing their troops for peacekeeping missions at the call of the United Nations.

"The ranking changes due to the reduction in the number of troops contributed to UN peacekeeping mission by other countries and increase in our troops. At present, the number of troops from Rwanda has decreased and we have climbed to the third position from the fourth," said Poudel, adding that the United Nations had sometime back also asked for an additional 450 soldiers from Nepal.

Nepal 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 the Department of Peace Operations. From Asia to Africa to the Caribbean, Nepal Army has made an indomitable mark in UN-led peacekeeping missions worldwide.

It has been almost 73 years since 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 neighbours. 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 unit in the UN system.

Nepal Army is the third-largest troop contributor in the UN peacekeeping missions worldwide. Nepal is only behind Bangladesh and Ethiopia in this respect. According to Nepal Army, as of January 29, 2021, there are 5,128 UN peacekeepers from Nepal Army in the dozen peacekeeping missions worldwide.

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.

Nepal Army has been awarded 135,343 UN peace medals in a period of 63 years by sending its troops on world peacekeeping missions. It 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 peacekeeping operations.

The NA has the experience of working in 42 peacekeeping missions across the world. It is becoming the first preference of the United Nations and the citizens of the war-torn countries due to the friendly nature and outstanding performance of Nepali soldiers in the peacekeeping efforts.

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's efforts to 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 Nepal Army in establishing peace in the conflict-ridden nations.

nepal Nepal Army United Nations Peacekeeping Troops contribution African Nations Arab Nations Armistice Agreement UN Peacekeeping Missoons Human Rights Conflict Management humanitarian assistance
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