In about three decades of active journalism, covering security and foreign relations, I got a rare opportunity to take stock of how the Nepalese Army peacekeepers worked in the hostile, war-torn, regions, saving innocent civilians from armed rebels. I saw that the Nepalese army personnel were winning the hearts and minds of people far away from Nepal, in difficult terrains, in the African continent. Over the past 50 years, Nepal has contributed 85,000 peacekeepers to 37 peacekeeping missions worldwide. However, to keep pace with the changes in peace keeping operations, Nepal also needs to go for smart peace keeping, with improved technology and equipment. Due to their bravery, obedience and preparedness to take risk, Nepali troops have remained in high demand for peacekeeping missions around the world, particularly in difficult conditions.
After assuming his office as the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) of Nepal Army, COAS General Rajendra Chhetri, a dedicated and professional general, has been making all efforts to equip Nepal Army’s Peacekeeping Missions with the latest technology and equipment. As Nepali soldiers have been praised as ideal peacekeepers for their legendary fighting skills, toughness ingrained from the rugged terrain back home, discipline and dedication through rigorous training blended with an easy-going attitude and honesty, equipping them with new technology and equipment is sure to enhance their capability.
As Nepal Army Battalion has been providing security in Congo, sacrificing their lives to enhancing the prestige of Nepal and Nepalese, the need of the time is to equip them with new equipment and technology. The government of Nepal needs to look at the matter seriously and provide adequate budget for the purpose.
On my visit to MONUSCO at the invitation of Nepal Army, I have seen that the Nepalese peacekeepers, if they are equipped better, can perform their jobs better, enhancing the prestige of Nepal and Nepalese. For this issue, we have decided to cover Nepal Army’s Peacekeeping Mission as our cover story.