The UN peacekeeping chief on Monday welcomed the deployment of the largest contingent of women peacekeepers from India in Abyei, saying female troops mean efficient operations.
“Pleased to see the largest contingent of women peacekeepers from #India arriving in #Abyei where they will be #ServingForPeace with @UNISFA_1. More #WomenInPeacekeeping means more efficient operations and they help better reflect the people we serve,” UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix said in a tweet.
Pleased to see the largest contingent of women peacekeepers from #India 🇮🇳 arriving in #Abyei where they will be #ServingForPeace with @UNISFA_1. More #WomenInPeacekeeping means more efficient operations and they help better reflect the people we serve. #A4P @IndiaUNNewYork https://t.co/DR6bMgPZtb— Jean-Pierre Lacroix (@Lacroix_UN) January 16, 2023
The women peacekeepers, the single largest all-women platoon from India in recent years, arrived in Abyei Saturday to begin their deployment with the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). Abyei is disputed zone on the border of South Sudan and Sudan, and has been accorded a "special administrative status."
"UNISFA is excited to welcome the deployment of the single largest all-women platoon of peacekeepers in recent years from #India. They join @IndBatt serving in #Abyei @UNISFA_1. The deployment reaffirms #India's continued commitment to implementation UNISFA mandate @UNPeacekeeping," the mission said in a tweet Monday.
The platoon, comprising two officers and 25 other ranks, is part of an engagement platoon and specialises in community outreach. It will perform extensive security related tasks as well.
The team was inducted to the mission area on January 14 and over the course of one year, the platoon will work along with their counterparts towards the goal of durable peace in Abyei.
"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,” India's Permanent Mission to the UN had said earlier this month.
The platoon has been deployed in Abyei as part of the Indian Battalion in UNISFA and is India’s largest single unit of women Peacekeepers in a UN Mission since it deployed the first-ever all women’s contingent in Liberia in 2007.
The team underwent training in all aspects related to its mission as peacekeepers including patrolling, functioning of UN, community engagement, language and was also briefed about the mission mandate. UNISFA said this step would prove to be “groundbreaking” towards better integration of genders into military peacekeeping.
“Deployment of female peacekeepers had a positive impact on peacekeeping environments in the past and has increased the overall peacekeeping performance,” it said adding that due to their natural outreach to communities, “female peacekeepers add greater diversity and broaden the skillset” across activities to ensure success of the peacekeeping mission.