India calls for special measures to protect peacekeepers from IED hazards

Syed Akbaruddin Indias Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations

, Feb 12.
India has asked the UN to take special measures to protect peacekeepers from improvised
explosive devices
(IEDs) that are a major hazard for the Blue Helmets.

By Arul
Louis (IANS)

should have dedicated counter-IED resources for missions facing such
threats,” India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin told the
Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations on Monday.

He also
called for “concerted efforts to upgrade the security infrastructure of

peacekeepers from Sri Lanka were killed by IEDs in Mali last month in the most
recent case of attacks using them.

The UN
Office of Disarmament Affairs had identified IEDs as “the largest single
threat” to peacekeepers.

It had
pointed out that “the contingents of many countries that make up the bulk
of UN peacekeeping missions use unarmoured pick-up trucks that are highly
vulnerable to IEDs”.

A UN panel
of experts on technology and innovation in peacekeeping had as far back as 2014
recommended a series of anti-IED measures ranging from deploying
“mine-protected” vehicles to using drones to survey the routes ahead
of peacekeepers’ travels.

It also
recommended using “bolt on” armour for vehicles, ground penetrating
radars and hand-held detectors for IEDs.

However, the
measures have not been fully implemented and fatalities from IEDs continue.

also suggested improving the system used to select the troops for peacekeeping
to ensure transparency and maintain the level of skills required for

basis of selection should include training standards, equipment, and individual
and collective skills that would best suit the requirements of specific
mission’s operational environment.

mission-specific training, if any, after troops deployment, could focus on
coordination and collective training based on specific threats of the
mission,” he added.

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