Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Silent Peacekeepers

The Silent Peacekeepers

Subedar Dharmesh Sangwan's coffin who martyred in the Conflict

      Its truth that most of the Indian population is least interested in the “Military Field” and even less interest in the life’s of a soldier. He’s one who gave up his today for a better and safer tomorrow for us. This post to show our gratitude to these brave hearts who not only fight defending our own country but also protecting international missions. This is a story about a platoon these 36 brave hearts serving UN mission under the Indian Flag. These brave hearts we are talking about were ambushed by about 2000 Sudan rebels in December 2013. Two of the brave jawans made the ultimate sacrifice while saving 100’s of UN employees and thousands of refugees.

       An calm early morning start to the Indian soldiers posted outside Akobo,Sudan to serve the UN representing India one of the biggest contributor to UUN peace keeping mission. With a watchful eye around the base the soldiers went around following their orders of protecting ”Top UN officials” . Akobo was one of the strategic bases homing several key UN officials, Indian mission command and home to a few hundred rebels. The base provided excellent hospital care in Sudan. But the command picked hostile movement along the base and the men guarding the base took up defensive positions to protect their second home. 

     Sooner the command picked up a large group of rebels coming toward the post. Soon the rebel group  was identified as Lou Nuer youth operating illegally under ethnic reasons. The group kept a demand for the handover of the tribal Sudanese who had taken up refuge inside the base. The Commander in charge of the outpost refused the Rebels request and refused to hand over the refugees. Soon within the minuets  the Rebels encircled the Indian Outpost. With the hostile stand off for a couple of hours the Indian mission never agreed to allow access for refugees. With their requests shot down the rebels resorted to firing with assault rifles. Sensing a huge fall out the Indian mission resorted to returning fire. Encircled by a force of around 2000 rebels the mission soon requested for back up by the UN. Though a back up party arrived it comprised only of a helicopter with seven Soldiers and another helicopter for EVAC the Outpost, a BMP was dispatched to the base. But faced with severe shortage the Indian army fought with full valour. Engaging the enemies head on, the jawans slaughtered the rebels accounting for around 200+ kills.  Faced with very high number of casualties the rebels started pulling back from the base.

        After a three hour gun fight Two Brave Indian Army hero's made the ultimate sacrifice for the nation facing the enemy. The brave hearts who made the nation proud were Subedar Dharmesh Sangwan (8 Rajputana rifles) and Subedar Kumar Pal Singh (Army Medical Corps) while Naik Sahabul Mandal was left seriously injured. And 10 other tribal south Sudanese also killed during the battle. The whole Indian mission at the base was EVAC to Malakkal another UN facility. With combined efforts by the Sudanese army and the UN mission the rebels group was flushed out.

       Mr. Hilde Johnson Special secretary of the UN secretary General paid tributes to the Indian Soldiers in a Memorial ceremony in Juba capital of South Sudan, and said “brave and courageous soldiers,” and extended her heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of the fallen Soldiers.

Ms. Johnson, head of UNMISS said in a statement

        " As a Mission, we are inspired by the dedication shown by the Indian troops,”
“Had it not been for their bravery, the death toll at the (UNMISS base) could have been higher.”

Indian Soldiers in UN Mission
Indian Soldiers Patrolling Sudan © Japan Times

Indian Soldiers Patrolling Sudanese Streets

Editor Karthik Kakoor 


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