By Yoshita Singh
United Nations, Jul 26 (PTI) An Indian peacekeeper, who died in the line of duty while serving in the UN mission in Lebanon, has been honoured for his dedication and commitment.
Sergeant Ramesh Singh was deployed with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
"UNIFIL paid the ultimate tribute to Sergeant Ramesh Singh of India who recently lost his life while Serving for peace in Lebanon," the mission tweeted earlier this month.
Singh was awarded the medal by UNIFIL Force Commander Stefano Del Col and the Lebanese Army "in recognition for his dedication and commitment", the mission said.
As of July 14, 2019, UNIFIL's force consists of a total 10,556 peacekeepers from 43 troop-contributing countries.
India is the fourth largest contributor of uniformed personnel to the UN peacekeeping.
It currently contributes more than 6,400 military and police personnel to the UN peace operations in Abyei, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, the Middle East, South Sudan and the Western Sahara.
So far, about 168 Indian troops have made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty under the UN Flag.
Meanwhile, Indian peacekeepers continue to garner appreciation for their exemplary service and going beyond their call of duty to extend critical humanitarian assistance.
According to a tweet by Radio Miraya, a radio station owned and operated by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), a team of specialised doctors from India is expected to visit the country next month to conduct surgery on patients with orthopaedic complications.
"The doctors will fix prosthetic limbs on 500 war-wounded and accident survivors" over a period of one month, it said.
UNMISS' Force Commander Lieutenant General Shailesh Sadashiv Tinaikar, who assumed charge at the mission earlier this month, recently led a patrol to deter armed attacks on road to Nimule, a town in the southern part of South Sudan.
According to an article on the UNMISS website, Tinaikar "drove his own vehicle on a full-day patrol to verify the security situation along the Juba-Nimule road".
It said the UNMISS Force Commander wanted to get a first-hand assessment of the security situation in the area before taking decisions on increasing troops and patrols to help deter violence.
"This is a very, very important lifeline for South Sudan. We need to have a much better understanding of what is happening on this road and the security situation," Tinaikar was quoted as saying in the article.
Tinaikar is keen to pursue an approach under which UNMISS supports peacebuilding and responds quickly to protect civilians.
"We need to see that we are able to save lives, and the only way of doing that is by being proactive rather than reactive. The moment fighting starts, lives will be lost.
"There are challenges - we may not be able to predict the exact place where violence could initiate. But our purpose is to see that conflict doesn't start and that we are able to protect people. To do that, we must be nimble, proactive and very robust in our actions," Tinaikar said in the article.
Another UNMISS tweet this month said that the mission has opened a new strategic base in Kodok in South Sudan.
Thousands of families fled to Kodok to escape violence during the country's civil war. The mission is now supporting them by opening its first ever base on the Western Nile.
The mission said that 85 Indian peacekeepers "are now helping create a secure environment, supporting peace-building efforts and the safe delivery of humanitarian aid," it said, adding that peacekeeping engineers from the UK have also provided valuable support and assistance. PTI YAS CPS