Indian troops for UN peacekeeping in South Sudan are coaching onerous at a military camp earlier than their induction and can endure two COVID-19 assessments earlier than being despatched to that nation, senior officers mentioned on Friday.
Indian troops are “one of the most sought after” in relation to deployment out of the country for peacekeeping, a senior official of the military.
“At present, our troops are already serving in South Sudan with blue helmets under the UNMISS and the new troops getting trained in the Khanpur Transit Camp in south Delhi will be inducted in batches to relieve those serving there right now in a phased manner. However, all precautions are being taken due to COVID-19,” he mentioned.
The UNMISS is United Nations Mission in South Sudan.
The official mentioned earlier than last induction, every member of the battalion undergoes rigorous coaching on the camp and has to clear two RT-PCR assessments.
“One test is conducted 21 days ahead of the date on which they are to be flown for induction. And, those found negative are then quarantined at various facilities, including one at Manesar in Haryana.
Then they are administered another COVID test, 72 hours before induction. So, all precautions have been taken, besides social distancing norms,” he mentioned.
The goal of “quarantining” them is to maintain them protected in order that they don’t contract the an infection, the official mentioned.
Another senior official mentioned that after reaching the vacation spot nation, there’s a “mandatory 14-day quarantine to ensure safety of all troops”.
One contingent of the battalion is slated to fly to South Sudan on November 27, he mentioned.
At the Khanpur camp, a gaggle of reporters on Friday got a sneak peek into the coaching routine of the troops, below “exercise Blue Helmet”.
India is among the many largest troop contributing nations to UN peacekeeping operations, which assist nations navigate the troublesome path to peace submit a battle.
Indian troops have served in such operations because the Korean War (1950-53), and in about 51 missions, of the whole 71 to date executed by the UN, officers mentioned.
Currently, Indian troops are serving in eight of the 13 peacekeeping missions, and because the Korean War, “about 2.5 lakh of our troops” have served in such missions until date, the officers mentioned.
Blue helmets and blue berets, two of probably the most enduring symbols of UN Peacekeeping Missions, are ubiquitous within the premises of the Khanpur camp, whereas big containers with “UN” painted on these, had been saved in a single nook.
At the camp, a slithering zone has been made the place para-trooping expertise are practiced by battalion members utilizing a towering construction as the bottom level.
An illustration of their expertise was given by a couple of members, who shouted, “Commando” as they slithered all the way down to the bottom.
A simulated expertise of what UN peacekeeping troops may face in South Sudan was performed out by troops, demonstrating how the “rules of engagement” are diligently adopted as specified by the protocols of the UN, even within the face of bodily hazard.
“There is a whole matrix for the rules of engagement, like when and how to fire, how to engage with a violent group, as it might come up due to inter-tribal clashes there. Our troops are trained to follow the UN mandate, and discipline of the Indian army is already in their psyche,” one other military official informed PTI.
In reality, some members of the battalion have been taught the Arabic language, in order that they will broadly talk with members of a tribe or the native inhabitants, he mentioned.
At the camp, a sand mannequin space has been created of a area in South Sudan with a camouflaged surroundings for studying the ropes.
“Indian troops are also sought after due to their high level of empathy, as India believes in the philosophy of ”Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or whole world is a family, so we serve in other countries for peacekeeping with that feeling of universality,” the official mentioned.