India is set to deploy an all-woman platoon of peacekeepers as part of a battalion to the United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (on the border between South Sudan and Sudan), which will be India’s largest single unit of women peacekeepers in a U.N. mission since the deployment of the first-ever all women’s contingent in Liberia in 2007, according to India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.
India is one of the largest troop-contributing nations to the U.N. peacekeeping missions.
“Proud to see this. India has a tradition of active participation in U.N. peacekeeping missions. The participation by our Nari Shakti is even more gladdening,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter.
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The Indian contingent, comprising of two officers and 25 other ranks, will form part of an engagement platoon and specialise in community outreach, though they will be performing extensive security-related tasks as well, the Indian mission said in a statement. “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 statement added.
The team will provide relief and assistance to women and children in one of the most challenging terrain conditions under the U.N. flag, the Indian Army said on social media.
Women peacekeepers are highly regarded in peacekeeping missions throughout the world for their ability to reach out and connect with women and children in local populations, especially victims of sexual violence in conflict zones, the statement said.