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Role of Bangladesh navy in UN peacekeeping mission

Bangladesh Navy personnel have been participating in UN peacekeeping mission since 1993. So far, a total of five thousands 423 personnel of Bangladesh Navy completed UN mission in 30 countries
Noor Islam Habib
Role of Bangladesh navy in UN peacekeeping mission

Bangladesh is a peace loving country. This very fact is enshrined in the constitution of Bangladesh with the foreign policy dictum – Friendship to all , malice to none. The father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in his speech at the General Assembly back in September 1974 has pronounced this pledge and we are committed to uphold same at any cost. Bangladesh on its quest to establish world peace has already made enormous contribution under the auspices  of ‘Blue Helmet’. Bangladesh believes that it is her sacred duty to serve the humanity anywhere any time in the World.

Bangladesh Navy personnel have been participating in UN peacekeeping mission since 1993. So far a total of five thousands 423 personnel of Bangladesh Navy completed UN mission in 30 countries including Mozambique, Rwanda, Haiti, Iraq-Kuwait, Georgia, Ivory Coast, Central Africa, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, DR Congo, Chad, Somalia, Mali and East Timor. Presently 348 Naval personnel are deployed in seven countries such as Lebanon, Western Sahara, Mali, DR Congo, Central Africa, South Sudan, Darfur and UN Headquarters.

Bangladesh Navy personnel have been discharging their duties in UN peacekeeping mission with sincerity, efficiency, dedication, high professional attitude and devotion. Bangladesh Navy have already earned name and fame, honour for Bangladesh by successful completion of their past UN mission. They have enhanced image of Bangladesh in World arena and enriched our economic growth by sending huge remittance.

Bangladesh Navy first started UN peacekeeping operation by sending 15 Military Observer in UNUMOZ in Mozambique in 1993. The first independent Bangladesh Navy contingent was deployed in UNIKOM, Iraq-kuwait in 1997 to patrol the waterways demarcating the  Iraq-Kuwait border. Following that footstep Bangladesh Navy deployed the first independent Force Riverine  Unit in UN mission in Sudan in 2005 which continued till 2012. In 2005 Bangladesh Navy also deployed a Boat Detachment in Ivory Coast and operated for 11 years in the Lagoons of Abidjan. Both of these deployments termiinated with establishment of peace and successful completion of UN mission. Bangladesh Navy boats were patrolling the Niger River in Ivory Coast for the security of commercial water transport. Since long time before deployment of Bangladesh Naval Boats plying of commercial water vessel on Niger River was stopped for fearing of piracy and robbery.

Following the directives of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Bangladesh Navy first time in her history deployed two ships – BNS Osman and BNS Madhumati in UN Interim Forces in Lebanon ( UNIFIL )  on May  2010. Such deployment to a great distance in the Meditarean Sea  almost 12000 kms away from the home port is a true manifestation of Bangladesh Navy’s operational and sustenance capability. There after Bangladesh Navy replaced these ships by other two ships – BNS Ali Haider and BNS Nirmul in May-July 2014. BNS Ali Haider and BNS Nirmul returned home after their successful completion of UN mission. Presently BNS Bijoy, a corvette type warship is deployed in UNIFIL( United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon ), Lebanon with 110 Naval Peacekeepers from 01 January 2018.

BNS Bijoy is tasked with conducting surveillance and patrolling in the Mediterranean Sea ( in the area of Maritime operation), Maritime interdiction operation, air surveillance, contributing UNIFIL intelligence, Surveillance and reconnaissance and training of Lebanese Navy personnel. BNS Bijoy is successfully performing patrol duties in UNIFIL area and this laudable role was also appreciated by UNIFIL Force Commander Major General Michael Beary ( Ireland ) while visiting BNS Bijoy on 13 February2018.

He also expressed deep satisfaction over the performance of this ship in the UNIFIL area of duties. This ship also earns 53 crore taka per year by discharging duties in UNIFIL.

Average reimbursement income of Bangladesh Navy through UN mission is taka 64 crore 57 lac and 60 thousands per year and so far Navy earned a total of 904 crore 6 lac and 40 thousands taka by reimbursement. Bangladesh government receives a total of 4 crore 13 lac and 57 thousands taka per year in average as UN mission allowance of Bangladesh Navy and so far Bangladesh government earned a total of  57 crore 89 lac and  98 thousands taka as UN mission allowance for Bangladesh Naval peacekeepers.

So far four BN peacekeepers made their supreme sacrifice while on duty in UN mission and they all were awarded with  the Dag Hammarsk Jold medal by UN.

Presently four female officers of BN are deployed in different Un peacekeeping mission and 14 female officers have already completed their UN mission.

Commander A N M Ishtiaq Jahan Farouquee, Deputy Director Naval Plans has already completed his mission in UNIFIL as Commanding Officer of BNS Nirmul. He said that BN ships got the opportunity to fly her flag in a  multinational environment in UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon.

Moreover, BN ships had participated in a good number of exercises with other participating  countries which paved the way to acquire knowledge and professionalism, he added. He further said, imparting training to Lebanese Naval personnel diplomatic relations between two Muslim friendly countries had reached to a new height than ever before. Commander Ishtiaq also said that Bangladesh Naval contingent are facing some challenges while on duty in UNIFIL. The ships staffs have to keep the  ships all machinery operational round the clock without any dedicated naval/commercial dockyard in Lebanon. Another challenge he mentioned that they have to face the rough  Mediterranean Sea during winter season.

Commander Farhana Sharmin has earlier completed her one year’s UN mission duty in Central African Republic. She worked at Forces Headquarters in Bangui, the capital city of Central Africa as Staff Officer. She told about her experiences in multinational environment, “ Working in a multinational environment was a great experience for me.” She worked with  the peacekeepers of 70 countries where she could learn diversified culture and behavior. Commander Farhana obviously worked  in male dominated community but she did not see any discrimination between man and female peacekeepers. But staying away from kids and family was the real challenge for her in UN mission.“ Any way, working under Blue Helmate was a great opportunity for me and I am really proud to be a part of UN,” she added.

The writer is Assistant Director, ISPR

Email : [email protected]

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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