This Article is From May 18, 2013

Indian Police unit in Congo gets UN medal

United Nations: An Indian police unit in the Democratic Republic of Congo has received the UN Peacekeeping Medal for its "high level of commitment" towards fighting criminals and maintaining peace in the African nation's troubled east.

The 135 Indian Formed Police Unit-2 (FPU) was honoured with the medal as an appreciation for their service in Goma/North Kivu.

The medal parade, held at the FPU camp in Goma on May 15 was attended by senior officials, including Jacques Desilets, United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) deputy police commissioner, said a statement.

The Indian unit has served in Democratic Republic of Congo since November 2005.

Addressing the recipients, Desilets said: "This medal was given to you as a symbol of appreciation and recognition of your efforts toward peace and security in the city of Goma.

This medal recognises your professionalism, goodwill gestures, diligence and high level of commitment towards fight against all acts of criminality and other forms of violence in Goma Town with little regard for your personal safety."

Desilets emphasised the tremendous work they did during Goma crisis in November 2012, when the city fell into an armed group's hands, contributing to a sense of security among local population and UN staff, during and after the transition phase in favour of the return of the National Congolese Police (PNC) in December 2012.

India Formed Police Unit Commander Sukumar Sarangi expressed special thanks to MONUSCO and said: "UN Peace Medal earned today, will always inspire us to perform our duties with more dedication and devotion and enthusiasm and zeal."

The UN has been deploying police officers for service in peace operations since the 1960s. Traditionally, the mandate of police components in peace operations was limited to monitoring, observing and reporting.

From the early 1990s, advisory, mentoring and training functions were integrated into the monitoring activities. This was to allow peacekeeping operations to act as a corrective mechanism with domestic police and other law enforcement agencies.

The need for police to help implement UN Security Council mandates has increased enormously. The number of UN police officers authorised for deployment in peacekeeping operations and special political missions has risen from 5,840 in 1995 to over 13,500 in 2012.

All police personnel working under the Blue Beret are first and foremost members of their own national police services and are then seconded to work with the UN. There are more than 95,000 UN uniformed personnel - police and military coming from over 110 countries.