NEW YORK: As many as 158 Indian peacekeepers have been honoured for their service in Haiti where they conducted regular patrols, secured election materials and helped with Haitian-led efforts to crackdown on kidnapping by criminal gangs.
The 158 officers of a Formed Police Unit (FPU) from India were honoured for their service with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) at a ceremony in the capital Port-au-Prince on May 3, a communique said.
Mr Mariano Fernández Amunátegui, the special representative of the UN Secretary-G eneral in Haiti and head of MINUSTAH, Major General Fernando Rodrigues Goulart, the force commander of MINUSTAH and Marc Tardif, commissioner of UN Police were among those present during the ceremony at which the Indian peacekeepers were awarded the United Nations medal.
The Indian FPU, who have served in Haiti since July 1, 2011, worked in cooperation with the Haitian National Police as well as other military and police personnel from the UN peacekeeping operation to ensure the safety and security of persons and property.
They have conducted regular patrols, established checkpoints, secured election materials and helped with Haitian-led efforts to crackdown on kidnapping by criminal gangs.
The Indian peacekeepers also secured camps for people displaced by the devastating 2010 earthquake, and supported the distribution of food and medicine to the Caribbean country's most vulnerable people.
"Rest assured that your loved ones in your home country are proud of you knowing that you actually contributed to the reconstruction, stability and prosperity of Haiti," said Mr Amunátegui.
India is the third largest contributor of military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping operations with more than 8,000 men and women serving the cause of peace throughout the world.
In addition to Haiti, India deploys peacekeepers to Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Congo, Lebanon, Liberia, the Middle East, South Sudan and Timor-Leste.