UN approaches India, others for more troops for Congo

November 21st, 2008 - 1:55 pm ICT by IANS  

United Nations, Nov 21 (IANS) The UN has approached India and several other nations to send more troops to the conflict-prone African nation of Congo, where the world body has a peacekeeping mission. India is now the largest troop contributor to the UN’s mission in Congo, accounting for more than one-fourth of the over 17,000 UN peacekeeping forces in Congo. The request for additional troops was sent after the UN Security Council Thursday authorised a temporary increase of more than 3,000 personnel for the UN’s mission in Congo.

“I think we have already started engaging troop-contributor countries to actually bring troops in, preferably troops that have had previous experience with the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” said Michèle Montas, spokesperson for the secretary-general.

Diplomatic sources told IANS that given India’s bitter experience in Congo recently, New Delhi is a bit reluctant to commit more troops. With escalating conflict between the government and rebel forces, Indian troops are often caught in the cross fire.

India has over 4,500 soldiers and nine Indian Air Force helicopters in the UN mission in Congo.

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