India, U.S. to train African troops for U.N. peacekeeping

India and the U.S. will jointly train troops from African countries in the entire gamut of the United Nations Peace Keeping (UNPK) operations, in yet another joint effort as part of the growing bilateral relations.

The three-week programme will be undertaken from July 25 to August 12 in New Delhi. It will be jointly undertaken by India’s Centre for United Nations Peace Keeping (CUNPK) and the Global Peace Operations Initiative of the US.

“It is a pilot project between India, the U.S. and Africa. It is a three dimensional one concerning India’s long standing ties with Africa, growing India-U.S. cooperation and India’s commitment to peacekeeping,” a government official told The Hindu .

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced at the United Nations General Assembly last year as well as at the African Union summit recently that India would step up training for troops from African countries. This programme was a follow up to that, the official said.

Given India’s limited capacities it was decided to partner with another country, and a decision was taken to partner with the U.S., he said.

21-day programme

The countries chosen are those African nations contributing maximum troops to the U.N. and the 21-day training programme has been modelled on the lines of the U.N.

There are about 40 officers from eight counties and a contingent from the African Union.

The instructors mostly from India and some from the U.S. will train officers from African countries as trainers who in turn would train soldiers back home in their respective countries.