PM for equipping peacekeepers with apt training, equipment

Sunbd Desk || Published: 2021-04-12 09:33:21 || Updated: 2021-04-12 09:33:21

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today stressed the need for equipping peacekeepers with appropriate training and equipment with facing new crises in the peacekeeping operations at the advent of newer technologies alongside invisible enemies like the Coronavirus, reports BSS.

“At present, peacekeepers in UN peacekeeping missions have to deal with multidimensional and complex situations. The number of deaths of peacekeepers has also been rising at an alarming rate recently. So far, 158 Bangladeshi peacekeepers have died and 237 injured. The time has come to equip peacekeepers with appropriate training and equipment to deal with the new upcoming crises in UN peacekeeping operations. I hope required measures will be taken to this end,” she said.

Joining virtually the concluding ceremony, ‘Exercise Front Runner of Peace-2021 (Exercise Shantir Ogroshena, 2021)’ organized by the Bangladesh Army held at the Bangabandhu Cantonment, Ghatail, Tangail from her official Ganabhaban residence, she also said, in the current context, ensuring world peace has become much more challenging than in the past.

“With the advent of invisible enemies like the coronavirus, the rapid spread of technology, and the advancement of time, new threat elements have emerged,” she added.

She said that she has learned that some of the recent incidents in the UN peacekeeping mission have been presented to the participants in exercise so that our future peacekeepers may be well-trained in making appropriate decisions to deal with such situations.

The Premier cordially greeted the participating military members from the friendly countries- India, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka along with the members of the Bangladesh Army in this exercise and invited observers from the United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Singapore.

She said, “Surely our bilateral relations will be further flourished through you in the days to come.”

She opined that this multinational exercise will be a milestone in establishing Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s philosophy of peace.

She said that she was very happy to be virtually present at the closing ceremony of ‘Exercise Front Runner of Peace’ held in Bangladesh from 4th to 12th April 2021 on the occasion of the birth centenary of the greatest Bengali of all time, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.

The Prime Minister, however, expressed her dissatisfaction for not being able to present in the function due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Noting that properly trained armed forces are essential to safeguarding the national integrity and sovereignty of any country, the Premier said, “Similarly, there is no alternative to regular exercise in proving the capabilities of the military members.”

The Prime Minister said that so far, more than 175,000 Bangladeshi peacekeepers, including 1,800 women peacekeepers, have participated in 54 missions in 40 countries of five continents.

Stating that, at present, more than 7,000 Bangladeshi armies and police personnel are deployed in 10 peacekeeping missions, she said, “In every mission that our peacekeepers have destined, they have raised the flag of the United Nations high, as well as brightened the image of Bangladesh. They also did many social works on the humanitarian ground. That is why Bangladesh today has become one of the highest peacekeepers sending country in the world.”

A brief video presentation was made on the “Exercise Shantir Ogroshena, 2021’ on the occasion.

Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund spoke at the function while Bangladesh’s Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed gave the welcome address.

The Chief of Army Staff on behalf of the Prime Minister distributed certificates among two each participant out of 123 of the four participating nations, Bangladesh, India, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka.

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