Kathmandu (The Kathmandu Post/ANN) - Nepal has regained the position of the sixth largest troops contributing country ( TCC ) to UN peacekeeping after the deployment of Nepal Army soldiers to the newly-born South Sudan.
The development comes as a relief to Nepali security forces whose participation in UN peacekeeping witnessed a fall in the past two years. By January 2012, Nepal had fallen to the ninth position on the list of the TCC s with 3,601 peacekeepers, down from fourth in 2007 and sixth in 2010.
According to the TCC ranking unveiled by the UN Department of the Peacekeeping (DPKO), altogether 4,651 peacekeepers, including 110 women, from Nepal were deployed by the end of September in 12 UN missions. In August, Nepal was eighth in the TCC ranking with 3,979 peacekeepers in the field.
Nepal Army Spokesman Ramindra Chhetri said Nepal was elevated from its previous position in the ranking after a full contingent was deployed in South Sudan. By August, Nepal had only an advance mission with 215 soldiers in the east central African country, which separated from Sudan in 2011 following a referendum.
According to the DPKO, there are 872 personnel stationed in South Sudan. The UN Mission in South Sudan is the third largest recipient of Nepali troops after the Republic of Congo and Lebanon, which host 1,048 and 1,018 peacekeepers, respectively.
Of the 4,651 Nepali peacekeepers, there are 328 individual police and 519 formed police unit personnel-from the Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force. Sixty officers are serving as experts.
Nepal's contribution to UN peacekeeping dates back to 1958 when five military officers were sent as observers in Lebanon. Pakistan, Bangladesh and India are the top three troops contributors to UN peacekeeping.