10 Jan 2018
Senior Indian Army officer visits UNIFIL
Lieutenant General Ajae Kumar Sharma of the Indian Army visited UNIFIL Headquarters as well as the Mission’s area of operation this week.
During the visit on 8 and 9 January, Lt. Gen. Sharma, who also oversees the deployment of Indian peacekeepers to UN missions worldwide, toured various UNIFIL bases of Indian peacekeepers and the Blue Line. Indian Battalion Commander Colonel Santosh Kumar Tripathi accompanied him throughout the visit.
While in the UNIFIL Headquarters on Monday, he met with the UNIFIL leadership, including Force Commander Major General Michael Beary and Deputy Force Commander Major Generel Shivaram Kharel. The UNIFIL leadership extended the Mission’s appreciation to Lt. Gen. Sharma for India’s contribution since the Mission’s establishment in 1978.
On his part, Lt. Gen. Sharma complimented the committed service of all UNIFIL troops in maintaining peace in south Lebanon. He also expressed his gratitude to the local authorities for their steadfast support and cooperation to UNIFIL peacekeepers in carrying out their duties.
With 6,700 troops in various UN peace operations worldwide, India currently is the third largest contributor to the UN Peacekeeping. It has some 900 peacekeepers with UNIFIL – one of the largest among 41 contributors. Five Indian soldiers have lost their lives in the line of duty in UNIFIL.