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Bangladesh set to send more peacekeepers in South Sudan

Bangladesh is set to send an infantry battalion and an engineering company of armed forces to maintain peace in war-torn South Sudan as Dhaka has accepted an offer from the United Nations to this end.

According to a press release of Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the UN, the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) has recently offered Bangladesh to contribute with an infantry battalion for maintaining peace in South Sudan.

The release signed by Noorelahi Mina, the first secretary (press) of the Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the UN, said the government of Bangladesh has promptly accepted the offer of contributing the infantry battalion composed of 850 personnel.

"Necessary preparations are underway for the speedy and smooth deployment of the peacekeepers," it said, adding the battalion will be deployed within the shortest possible time to meet the immediate requirement in troubled Wau area of South Sudan.

Bangladesh has also received an offer of contributing an engineering company of 260 personnel last month. Both the infantry battalion and engineering company are expected to be deployed shortly under "United Nations Mission in South Sudan" (UNMISS).

These offers have been received on the basis of pledges that were made by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during "Leaders' Summit on Peacekeeping" on September 28 in 2015 in New York.

Since then Bangladesh Armed Forces and Bangladesh Police are maintaining few compliments on high state of readiness to meet the UN's immediate requirements.

The Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN is closely coordinating with the UN Secretariat to materialize these pledges.

These new offers, once again reflect trust and confidence of the international community in Bangladesh's ability to maintain global peace and security as well as readiness of its peacekeepers who had been serving for decades.

Presently, a total of 6,850 including 198 female Bangladeshi peacekeepers are deployed in 13 different peacekeeping missions.

So far a total of 1,46,143 personnel of Bangladesh Armed Forces and Police have participated in 54 peacekeeping missions in 40 different countries.

The security situation in South Sudan, particularly in the Greater Equatorias, in parts of Unity, and Western Bahr el Ghazal states, remains volatile, with frequent outbreak of violence that resulted in civilian casualties and displacement in recent months.

Media reports said since 2013, more than 50,000 people were killed and millions displaced in South Sudan, which became independent on July 9 in 2011.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)