Address threats to UN peace keeping missions

New Delhi: Observing that UN peacekeeping operations were becoming "more complex" due to threats posed by non-state actors in conflict zones, Army Chief Gen V K Singh on Wednesday said this problem should be addressed "much more seriously".

India is the third largest contributor to UN Peacekeeping missions after Bangladesh and Pakistan and it has despatched around 8,000 troops in places like Congo, Sudan, Lebanon and the Golan Heights.

"Peacekeeping operations are becoming more complex and challenging… It is easy to deal with state players. But, as far as non-state players are concerned, the possibility of what they will do and how they will convert their own capability and their influences on the state to the detriment of the peace-keeping mission needs to be seen much more seriously," he said here.

The Army Chief was addressing a seminar on `Peacekeeping vision 2015` organised by the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs here.

Singh said threats posed by non-state actors to UN missions in conflict areas challenges not only the UN forces on ground but also the policy-makers in the world body.

He said peacekeeping missions are facing the "unique challenge" of implementing mandates that were either "nebulous" or have aspects that may may not be "implementable or enforceable".

He said this issue needs to be addressed by the UN and the countries contributing their troops, or it could pose problems on the ground.

"More often than not, what we have found in some missions that the UN comes under fire because it is not able to enforce the mandate that has been given. There are a lot of facets that come out of the situation, which are probably just outside the mandate, and the entire mission comes under great amount of scrutiny and criticism," he added.

He added the missions have to "indulge outside military parameters to ensure that the various players are brought together on a platform where they can narrow down their differences."

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