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PostPosted: 04 Jan 2008 23:03 
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Starting a thread to track and consolidate news and history of deployments outside India - be it exercises, peace keeping and other operations. Often these are significant in many ways and reveal many new facts about our armed forces.

Sample topics that can be included here:

* Indian peace keepers in UNMIS, MONUC and other UN Missions
* Indian air base and other forces in Afghanistan
* Exercises, air show visits by IAF
* Indian Navy operations
* Indian military training teams


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PostPosted: 04 Jan 2008 23:07 
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http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080104/j ... 741840.jsp

[quote]Indian dies in Afghan suicide blast
SUJAN DUTTA

New Delhi, Jan. 3: A police inspector and possibly another security personnel from India were among seven persons killed by a suspected suicide bomber in Afghanistan’s Nimroz province this afternoon.

Six other Indians were “critically injuredâ€


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PostPosted: 05 Jan 2008 06:35 
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Sikh Batt departs for Congo http://frontierindia.net/category/gener ... army-news/


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PostPosted: 05 Jan 2008 16:15 
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An old news ....

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http://www.indianexpress.com/story/205416.html

Quote:
India activates first listening post on foreign soil: radars in Madagascar
Manu Pubby
Posted online: Wednesday, July 18, 2007 at 0000 hrs


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PostPosted: 05 Jan 2008 20:45 
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Aditya G wrote:
An old news ....

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http://www.indianexpress.com/story/205416.html

Quote:
India activates first listening post on foreign soil: radars in Madagascar
Manu Pubby
Posted online: Wednesday, July 18, 2007 at 0000 hrs


Might be old, but news to me! - Any other follow up stories on this?


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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2008 00:32 
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Location: Jeering sekular forces bhile Furiously malishing my mijjile @ Led Lips Mijjile Malish Palish Parloul
also, what happened to the ayni base?
last heard poootie-poot was trying to get the tajik to go slow on ayni...


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PostPosted: 07 Jan 2008 01:18 
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Any more info on the Madagascar and Atoll off Mauritius bases? Any google earth locations? Plz help pronto


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PostPosted: 07 Jan 2008 22:18 
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http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/IH02Df01.html

Quote:
India's quiet sea power
By Sudha Ramachandran

BANGALORE - India's new listening post in Madagascar has reportedly begun operations. Under construction for more than a year, the monitoring station will provide India with electronic eyes and ears in the southwestern Indian Ocean.

Located in northern Madagascar, the monitoring station "was quietly made operational" in early July, according to a report in The Indian Express. It will be linked with similar facilities in Kochi and Mumbai "to gather intelligence on foreign navies operating in the region", the report said. Mumbai and Kochi, which are on India's west coast, are headquarters of the Indian Navy's Western and Southern Commands, respectively.

Madagascar, a large island off Africa's east coast, is among a growing number of Africa's Indian Ocean shores with which India is building naval and other ties. The Indian Navy took charge of Mozambique's sea security during the African Union summit there in 2003 and during the World Economic Forum summit the following year.

To Madagascar's east lies Mauritius. In 1974, India laid the foundation of its naval security cooperation with Mauritius with the gift of the Indian Naval Ship (INS) Amar. India later provided Mauritius with an interceptor patrol boat, INS Observer, in 2001 and a Dornier Do 228 maritime surveillance aircraft in 2004. The Indian Navy has patrolled waters off Mauritius a few times.

Media reports last year spoke of a possible larger profile for India in Mauritius. According to reports, Mauritius offered its Agalega Islands to India on a long-term lease ostensibly for development as tourist destinations. The Agalega Islands are 1,100 kilometers from Mauritius, 3,000km from India and 1,800km from the US base at Diego Garcia.

Both India and Mauritius quickly denied the lease report - the leasing of a predominantly Creole island to India would be a touchy issue in a country with a delicate ethnic balance between the francophone Creoles and the Indo-Mauritians. However, according to the Indian Express report, "India is looking at developing another monitoring facility at an atoll it has leased from Mauritius [Agalega] in the near future." The report said that while the government is silent on the issue, "sources say some forward movement has recently been made on the project".

Across the channel to Madagascar's west lies Mozambique. Last year, India signed a memorandum of understanding with Mozambique that envisaged maritime patrolling of the waters off the latter's coast, supplying military equipment, training personnel, and transferring technical know-how in assembling and repairing military vehicles, aircraft and ships.

India's long-standing ties with Seychelles were further strengthened in 2005 when Delhi gave the latter's coast guard a fast-attack vessel, INS Tarmugli. India has given a few helicopters to Seychelles over the years and Indian naval ships routinely visit the archipelago.

India's naval foray into the southwestern Indian Ocean has gone by largely unnoticed. In contrast, its naval presence and activity near the Malacca Strait to its east and the Gulf of Oman to its west has been widely reported. The Indian Navy has been conducting exercises with the Republic of Singapore Navy for more than a decade, with the Indonesian Navy since 2004, and with the Royal Thai Navy since last August. Next month, the navies of five countries - India, Singapore, the United States, Japan and Australia - will participate in a huge naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal. To its west, India has been holding joint naval exercises in the Gulf of Oman, the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea with such countries as Oman, Iran and France.

India's naval profile in the southwestern Indian Ocean is smaller but growing quietly. Naval exercises with South Africa - the only medium naval power in Africa - and Brazil are expected to take place next year.

Indian Navy officers say that India's gifts of patrol boats and other equipment to countries in its immediate and distant neighborhood are to "help them identify and isolate more effectively fast-moving surface craft that may be carrying terrorists, gun-runners or smugglers. By providing these countries with better equipment, India is not only helping them secure themselves but also hoping that this will halt the flow of arms, ammunition and contraband into India."

There is the problem of piracy, too, in the waters off Africa that has affected India's trade. To the north of Madagascar lies Somalia, whose coastline has been identified by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) as the area with the highest piracy risk in the world. According to the latest IMB report, there were 15 reported attacks on vessels in or near Somalia's waters in the first seven months this year, compared with 10 incidents during all of last year. An Indian merchant ship was seized by Somali pirates this May and held for a month.

For India, monitoring the waters off Africa's east coast is an essential part of its effort to secure sea lanes of communication in the Indian Ocean. Most of India's trade is by sea - nearly 89% of India's oil imports arrive by sea. These sea lanes are thus lifelines for the Indian economy and any disruption can have disastrous consequences for its economic and energy security.

India has been acting to secure sea lanes in the Indian Ocean, and the monitoring station in Madagascar is part of this larger naval and maritime strategy.

India is reaching out far into the Indian Ocean, way beyond its shores, as it sees this ocean as its domain. In an article published last year in the Naval War College Review, Donald L Berlin, professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu and an expert on Indian Ocean strategic issues, wrote:

New Delhi regards the Indian Ocean as its back yard and deems it both natural and desirable that India function as, eventually, the leader and the predominant influence in this region - the world's only region and ocean named after a single state. This is what the United States set out to do in North America and the Western Hemisphere at an early stage in America's "rise to power". American foreign policy throughout the 19th century had one overarching goal: achieving hegemony in the Western Hemisphere.

Similarly, in the expansive view of many Indians, India's security perimeter should extend from the Strait of Malacca to the Strait of Hormuz and from the coast of Africa to the western shores of Australia. For some Indians, the emphasis is on the northern Indian Ocean, but for others the realm includes even the "Indian Ocean" coast of Antarctica.

Of major concern to India is China's steady influence in the Indian Ocean through its naval and other ties with India's neighbors, including Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. China has a major role in the Gwadar port in Pakistan at the mouth of the strategic Persian Gulf, about 400km from the Strait of Hormuz, a major conduit for global oil supplies.

Concern mounted in India in January when Chinese President Hu Jintao rounded off his eight-nation trip to Africa with a stop at Seychelles. It was to preempt a Chinese offer of naval assistance to Seychelles that India quickly gave INS Tarmugli to the Seychelles Coast Guard. Hu's visit - the first by a Chinese president to an island state in the southwestern Indian Ocean - underscored the looming challenge that China poses to India's influence in this region.

Raja Mohan, an Indian strategic-affairs expert, pointed out: "No one doubts India's desire to retain its foothold in these geopolitically crucial island states. But question marks remain on whether India has a strategy to cope China's dramatic entry into the western Indian Ocean."

Sudha Ramachandran is an independent journalist/researcher based in Bangalore.


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PostPosted: 21 Jan 2008 18:21 
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Outpost at Tajikistan still on India's radar
21 Jan 2008

NEW DELHI: Despite some Russian chill, India has not junked its plans to establish a geostrategic footprint in the energy-rich Central Asia through a 'military outpost' at the Ayni airbase in Tajikistan.

There are already over 150 Indian military personnel stationed at Ayni, which includes an IAF detachment of pilots and support staff for Mi-17 helicopters. After a meeting between defence minister A K Antony and his Tajik counterpart Colonel-General Khairullaev Sherali here on Friday, sources said the Ayni airbase 'still very much' figured on the Indian radar screens.

This comes in wake of Russia apparently reversing its earlier green signal to India's 'long-term' plans to base some MiG-29 fighter jets at Ayni after stationing at least one squadron of Mi-17 helicopters there in the "short-term."

"Talks are in progress to resolve the issues at Ayni. The Russians, of course, have to be onboard since they exercise a huge influence over Tajikistan," said a source.

The Russian U-turn came towards the end of last year just when the Ayni airbase — around 15 km from Tajik capital Dushanbe — became fully operational under a trilateral agreement of India, Tajikistan and Russia.

India has pitched in Rs 100 crore as well as technical help from Army and Border Roads Organisation to extend and relay the runway at the Ayni airbase, apart from constructing three aircraft hangars, an air-control tower and perimeter-fencing around the base.

The Russian displeasure is being attributed to India's growing strategic embrace with the US as well as its deliberate strategy to 'broad-base' its huge defence procurements by turning to countries like US, Israel, France and UK, instead of relying solely on Russia as in the past.

The Indian security establishment, of course, has long denied any endeavour to establish a military base at Ayni. Asked about Antony’s meeting with Sherali, a defence ministry official only said, "It was a routine courtesy call."

The fact, however, remains that it was in 2002 itself that plans for the Ayni airbase, which was then in a decrepit state, were conceived by India in keeping with its rapidly-growing energy requirements and the strategic need to keep a close watch on the Pakistan-Afghanistan region.

A military outpost in the region will also give India the option to deploy its special forces into nearby areas in times of emergency like the IC-814 hijacking to Kandahar in December 1999.

India, incidentally, has operated in Tajikistan, which has a long 1,200-km border with Afghanistan, since the 1990s. Both New Delhi and Dushanbe had joined hands to help the Northern Alliance in its fight against the then Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

India, in fact, had even set up a hospital at Farkhor, near the border with Afghanistan, to treat wounded Northern Alliance personnel.


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PostPosted: 21 Jan 2008 18:22 
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CRPF to send women team for UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia
21 Jan 2008

NEW DELHI: A 125-strong women's contingent of the CRPF is leaving for Liberia next Monday to replace an existing team of the Indian women paramilitary force deployed there as part of an UN peacekeeping force in the strife-torn African nation.

The age of the team members is between 27 to 40 years and 80 per cent of them are mothers, they said.

The team, led by Commandant Rakhi Sahi, will leave for Liberia on January 29 to replace the existing group commanded by Seema Dhundiya, which has earned praise from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for motivating the country's women to join police.

It consists of one deputy commandant, three assistant commandants, besides 100 women fighting force and some male supporting staff.

The personnel have undergone training in endurance, advanced armed combat tactics, crowd and mob control, modern sophisticated weapons, counter-insurgency operations, disaster management, international policing with special emphasis on community policing.

It is for the first time that the constables have been trained in Side Arms, namely 9 mm pistol, officials said.

"Keep India's flag flying high in the African nation. Out of the 23 nations deployed there, only India has the privilege of having an exclusive women's team there, CRPF Director General S I S Ahmed told the contingent as they demonstrated their skills at a function here.

The CRPF women contingent, which was deployed last year in Liberia, was the first exclusive female team of police which was pressed into action in any UN peacekeeping force.


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PostPosted: 21 Jan 2008 18:22 
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Indian military outpost in Tajikistan nearing completion

NEW DELHI, JAN 21 (PTI)
The first Indian 'military outpost' abroad is nearing completion in Tajikistan but "some technical problems" are hindering its full-fledged functioning, Defence Minister A K Antony said today.

"The base in Tajikistan is almost complete. But some technical problems are there," Antony told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar organsied by the Department of Defence Production here.

However, he did not specify what were the "problems" encountered by India in this regard.

There are about 150 Indian military personnel already stationed at the Ayni airbase in Tajikistan.

Last week, Antony and his Tajik counterpart Khairullaev Sherali held talks here on the issue.

Official sources said the bone of contention was what kind of aircraft should be stationed at the Ayni airbase.

To a question on the delay in the procurement of Gorshkov aircraft carrier, Antony said the discussion were on.

Earlier addressing the seminar 'Synergising Defence, Industries and Technologies through Standardisation', the Minister said there is a need for standardisation as it provides the only answer to rationalise procurement and its effective use.

"Standardisation provides the only answer to rationalise the number of items procured, stocked, maintained, transported and used effectively by the military," he said.

"We need to intensify standardisation and codification if we have to avoid a logistics nightmare," Antony added.


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PostPosted: 29 Jan 2008 20:10 
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UN hails Indian peacekeeping troops contribution
Jan 29, 2008

New Delhi, Jan 29 (ANI): The United Nations Assistant Secretary General for Mission Support in the peacekeeping operations department, Jane Holl Lute, who is here on a visit, on Tuesday appreciated the role played by the Indian peacekeepers in various parts of the world.

During her meeting with the Defence Secretary Vijay Singh, Lute urged New Delhi to take part in the Contingent Owned Equipment (COE) Manual Review Exercise scheduled to be held at New York from February 4 to 22.

Assuring Lute about New Delhi's participation in the review meetings, Singh reiterated India's commitment for the UN Peacekeeping operations.

Lute was also given an overview of the experiences of the just-returned Indian contingent of peacekeepers, especially those relating to logistic and operational aspects.

The Army Headquarters gave a presentation on the various 'Commandments' given to the Indian peacekeepers such as respect for cultural ethos of the country where they are deployed and zero-tolerance for human rights violations.

On Monday, she visited the Para Brigade at Agra and the South-Western Army Command Headquarters at Jaipur.

During her meeting with Vijay Singh, Lute was accompanied by UN Messenger of Peace George Clooney.

Lute had recently visited Congo, where she had seen the Indian peacekeepers in action. (ANI)


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PostPosted: 29 Jan 2008 20:41 
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UN Hails Contributions of Indian Peacekeepers
Tuesday, January 29 2008

New Delhi, Jan 29: Indian contributions to UN Peacekeeping efforts in various parts of the world continue to win praise -- and the latest came today from UN Assistant Secretary General for Mission Support in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations Jane Holl Lute.

Ms Lute, accompanied by UN Messenger of Peace George Clooney, called on Defence Secretary Vijay Singh here and during discussions, the UN official was highly appreciative of the role played by the Indian peacekeepers in various parts of the world.

She further urged New Delhi to take part in the Contingent Owned Equipment (COE) Manual Review Exercise to be held at New York from February 4-22. The Defence Secretary reiterated India's commitment to UN Peacekeeping operations and assured that India will send a high-level delegation to take part in the review meetings both at technical and working levels.

Ms Lute was also given an overview of the experiences of the just-returned Indian contingent of peacekeepers, especially those relating to logistic and operational aspects.

The Army Headquarters gave a presentation on the various 'Commandments' given to the Indian peacekeepers such as respect for the cultural ethos of the country where they are deployed and zero-tolerance for human rights violations. Ms Lute had recently visited Congo where she had seen the Indian peacekeepers in action.

The UN Assistant Secretary General visited the 50 Para Regiment at Agra and the South-Western Army Command Headquarters at Jaipur yesterday. She evinced keen interest in the training imparted to the Indian peacekeepers to orient them to handle challenges in alien territories.

Indian troops have taken part in some of the most difficult UN Peacekereping operations in four continents and have suffered casualties in the service of the UN. The professional excellence of the Indian troops has won universal admiration.

India's most significant contribution has been to peace and stability in Africa and Asia. It has demonstrated its unique capacity of sustaining large troop commitments over prolonged periods.


Presently, India is ranked among the largest and most reliable Troop Contributor Nations to the UN. India has also offered one brigade of troops to the UN Stand by Arrangements.


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PostPosted: 29 Jan 2008 21:52 
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The Islands that India has leased from Mauritius are the Agalega Islands
This island group is 1100 Kms north off Mauritius. It also has an airstrip. TOI has reported in the past that the Govt of Mauritius was planning to lease it to india for developing tourism.
Image
Google Earth image with locations.
There is another sparsely inhabited atoll-island group 400Km north of Mauritius - The Cargados Carajos Shoals
Image


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PostPosted: 31 Jan 2008 08:36 
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Quote:
Clooney brings taste of Hollywood to South Block

New Delhi (PTI): The corridors of power at South Block here got a taste of Hollywood glamour when actor George Clooney came visiting on Wednesday to hail India's contribution to the United Nations peace missions in Africa.

Clooney, who was named the UN Messenger of Peace earlier this month, met senior officers in the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Accompanied by UN Assistant Secretary General for Mission Support Jane Holl Lute, the Oscar winner appreciated the role of Indian peacekeepers in Africa during meetings with Vijay Singh, Defence Secretary, K C Singh, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the MEA and Vivek Katju, Additional Secretary (International Operations) in the MEA.

Clooney, who will be formally appointed as UN Messenger of Peace at a ceremony at the UN Headquarters on Thursday, gave the 14th Screen Actors' Guild Awards held in Los Angeles a miss to visit India.

Lute praised the Indian peacekeepers and extended an invite for the Contingent Owned Equipment Review Exercise in New York next month, a defence ministry statement said.

The Defence Secretary told Lute that India will send a high-level delegation to take part in the review meetings both at the technical and working levels.

Lute had visited Congo where she had seen Indian peacekeepers in action.

India has been participating in the UN peacekeeping missions since 1950 and has contributed more than one lakh troops, military observers and civilian police officers to 43 out of the total 63 operations.



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PostPosted: 01 Feb 2008 15:01 
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More on India's naval diplomacy and deployments
Quote:
India’s quiet sea power

Whoops sorry, already posted by Aditya above


Last edited by p_saggu on 10 Mar 2008 19:15, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2008 10:22 
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http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/JB01Ag01.html

Quote:
Central Asia
Feb 1, 2008

Russian turbulence for Indian airbase
By Sudha Ramachandran

BANGALORE - It does seem that India will have to downsize its big-power dreams in Central Asia. Its plan to deploy aircraft at the base at Ayni in Tajikistan is facing opposition from an unexpected quarter - Russia.

Ayni, located 10 kilometers from the Tajik capital Dushanbe, was used by the Soviets during the 1980s to support their military operations in Afghanistan. Following their withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Soviets left Ayni and the base fell into a dilapidated condition.

In 2002, India undertook renovation of the base under a bilateral defense agreement with the Tajiks. It spent over US$1.1 million renovating the base: extending and re-laying its runway, and constructing three aircraft hangars, an air-traffic control tower and the base's perimeter fencing.

But India's interest in renovating Ayni is not just about making the base usable. It has been keen on setting up a military outpost there.

Ayni's value to India stems from Tajikistan's geographic location. The country shares borders with China, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. A narrow strip of Afghan territory - the Wakhan corridor - separates Tajikistan from Pakistan. Besides, although Tajikistan is not a producer of gas, it is close to countries that are.

A base at Ayni would provide India with a platform from which it could respond rapidly in the event of threats to its interests in the region. It may be recalled that when an Indian Airlines flight from Kathmandu in Nepal to Delhi was hijacked to Kandahar in Afghanistan in December 1999, India was unable to respond effectively.

An outpost at Ayni would provide muscle to India's ambitions of extending its strategic reach into Central Asia, a region that is volatile and resource rich.

India's relationship with Tajikistan has traditionally been warm. The two countries were on the same side in the Afghan civil war in the late 1990s. Both were opposed to the Taliban and backed the Northern Alliance. At Farkhor, southeast of Dushanbe, India ran a 25-bed hospital for injured fighters of the Northern Alliance in the late 1990s. And it was out of Tajikistan that India channeled its assistance to the Northern Alliance, which included, among other things, advice on strategy and help in repairing the Northern Alliance's Soviet-made aircraft.

After the fall of the Taliban in late 2001, India was keen to retain its foothold in Tajikistan. Hence, the interest in renovating Ayni and setting up an outpost there.

India initially planned to deploy fixed-wing MiG-29 fighters at Ayni. Subsequently it was said to be deploying only a squadron of Mi-17 V1 helicopters. And then late last year, reports indicated the Indians were likely to be evicted from Ayni.

India already has some 150 military personnel, mainly engineers and support staff at Ayni. And while the base is renovated, it is still not fully operational.
Recently, India's Defense Minister Arackaparambil Kurian Antony attributed the delay to some "technical glitches". It is more likely that Russian objections to India's presence at Ayni were behind the delay.

The Russians, it seems, are pressuring the Tajiks to not only refuse India permission to deploy at Ayni but also deny it access to the base.
The Russian obstruction has come as a bit of a surprise to India, especially since Moscow had earlier given its nod. In fact, Russia, Tajikistan and India had also informally agreed they would share command and control over the base, holding it by rotation. India and Russia had also agreed to jointly maintain the base.

An Indian military outpost at Ayni was expected to ruffle feathers in Islamabad and Beijing, not Moscow, given the decades of warm ties between India and Russia. The Russian turnaround indicates how much India's equation with the big powers has changed in recent years.

The Russian rethink on India's role at Ayni appears to have been prompted by unease over India's new closeness to the Americans.
The Russian pressure on the Tajiks was aimed at signaling to Delhi that if India wanted to reap the benefits of its long-term closeness to Moscow, then it would have to maintain a distance with the Americans. India could not expect to have a strategic beachhead in Central Asia if it pursued close ties with the Americans.

The Russian move was also aimed at putting pressure on India to decide in its favor in a host of big-ticket defense deals that are in the pipeline. India is expected to spend about $40 billion in the next few years to replace aging equipment and upgrade its military hardware and the Russians are anxious that India, which has in the past depended on Russia to meet its military needs, will now turn to the US, France and others.

The Russian move was aimed at reminding India that it still needs the Russians to realize its ambitions. A base in Central Asia for instance, the Russians are underscoring, would not be possible without their nod.

Over the past few months, India is reported to have raised the Ayni issue with the Russians alongside several other irritants that have cropped up in their relations. India is annoyed with Russia over the delay in delivery of the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov and the steep hike in costs of the Sukhoi fighter aircraft.

Indian government officials insist that the outpost at Ayni is still very much in the cards. At a recent meeting with his Tajik counterpart Colonel-General Khairullaev Sherali, India's Defense Minister Antony is reported to have sorted out some issues regarding India's role at Ayni. Ayni is still part of India's gameplan in Central Asia - at least for now.

However, India's presence at Ayni will be a much scaled down version of what it originally envisaged for itself.

Phunchok Stobdan, Central Asia expert and senior fellow at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses in New Delhi, says that deployment of a squadron of helicopters "now seems rather far-fetched". A full-time stationing of troops at Ayni is doubtful but "it is likely that Ayni would be available for India's use in a contingency", he told Asia Times Online.

The Russians would like any Indian role at Ayni to be part of a multilateral approach to crisis under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, for instance, says Stobdan.

That would give it an anti-US color, which is not the way India interprets its role in Central Asia.

Sudha Ramachandran is an independent journalist/researcher based in Bangalore.


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PostPosted: 04 Feb 2008 18:34 
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Dithering almost cost India its Tajik military facility

By Rahul Bedi
[quote]New Delhi, Feb 4 (IANS) Mounting uncertainty over India’s continued presence in its sole overseas military facility in Tajikistan was largely due to New Delhi’s tardiness in fulfilling its 2002 commitment to pay various state-run Tajik institutions $500,000 and executing infrastructure development projects in that country, according to well informed sources.

Official sources here said the previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) administration had, besides agreeing to finance and execute the restoration of the disused Ayni air base, 15 km from capital Dushanbe, also committed India to a $500,000 grant-in-aid to several Tajik government institutions which it had not remitted.

Consequently, the non-payment alongside other unfulfilled pledges made by former defence minister George Fernandes to upgrade a highway near Dushanbe and construct a hydropower plant infuriated the Tajik authorities, prompting them to notify India last year to withdraw its 150-200 military personnel stationed at Ayni.

But military sources said the Tajik Defence Minister, Colonel General Khairullaev Sherlai’s Delhi visit last month - during which he met his Indian counterpart A.K. Antony - has temporarily stalled India’s ejection from the crucially strategic Central Asian Region (CAR) after Delhi hastily released an instalment of $100,000.

The balance $400,000, these sources told IANS, would be handed over “shortlyâ€


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[quote]“The problem of non-payment stemmed from nothing other than organisational inertia on the part of India’s establishment,â€


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Gajraj at Kabul airbase ~2006

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UNMEE troops start relocating

Quote:
As of 26 February, the number of personnel relocated from the Temporary Security Zone to Asmara from Sector West and Sector Centre was as follows:
Jordanian Battalion: 353 out of 491 (the total strength of the Jordanian contingent is 498, with 7 deployed on the Ethiopian side); Indian Battalion: 196 out of 353 (the total strength of the Indian Battalion is 600, with 150 in Adigrat, on the Ethiopian side); Kenyan Demining Company: 36 out of 40; Indian Construction Company: 4 out of 15; and 92 out of 109 military observers. In Subsector East, the number of personnel regrouped at Assab from various isolated sites is as follows: a total of 101 troops from the Indian Battalion and the Indian Construction Company, as well as 11 military observers from various countries. The personnel regrouped at Assab will not relocate to Asmara as Assab has a seaport and airport that would be used to repatriate the personnel and equipment.

Link
Link
Link

Eritrea has stopped fuel supplies to the UNMEE and has obstructed the relocation. This seems to be done so that the troops cannot relocate all their equipment and have to abandon their equipment. The soldiers are taking as much weapons equipments and ammunition as possible with their limited fuel supplies. God be with them.


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PostPosted: 10 Mar 2008 15:29 
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Also see these documents explaining the scenario.
Choose language english on the page menu.
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UNMEE website


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PostPosted: 10 Mar 2008 17:47 
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So it wasn't the russians who were against the IAF airbase at ayni?


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PostPosted: 10 Mar 2008 22:31 
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INDIAN TROOPS IN UN PEACE KEEPING FORCE
Monday, March 10, 2008

The Indian Armed Forces personnel are deployed in six UN Peace Keeping Missions viz., Congo, Lebanon, Ethiopia-Eritrea, Sudan, Golan Heights and Ivory Coast, at present.

A total of 8887 Indian Armed Forces' personnel are presently deployed in UN Peacekeeping operations and UN Headquarters, New York. The terms and conditions of the personnel deployed in these missions are governed by the orders/instructions issued by the UN and Government of India including Memorandum of Understanding / Letter of Assist signed between UN and Government of India.

Each peacekeeping mission is governed by UN mandate which is reviewed from time to time.

This information was given by Defence Minister A K Antony in a written reply to Shri Rewati Raman Singh in Lok Sabha today.


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INDIAN CONTINGENT TO UN PEACE KEEPING MISSION IN CONGO

Lieutenant General SPS Dhillon, Deputy Chief of Army Staf (Information System and Training) addressed the contingent of Fifth Battalion the Garhwal Rifles (5 Garhwal Rifles), Tenth Battalion the Assam Regiment (10 Assam Regiment), Sixth Battalion the Sikh Light Infantry (6 Sikh Light Infantry), Headquarters 301 Infantry Brigade, Level III Hospital and 19 Recce and observation Flight, earmarked to represent the country in The Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa, as part of the United Peace Keeping Mission MONUC.

5 Garhwal Rifles was raised on 01 Feb 1962. The battalion has been nominated for the coveted UN Mission for their outstanding performances in 1971 War, Op Battle Axe in Mizoram, Op Rakshak in the state of Jammu & Kashmir during 1993 – 95, Op Rhino in Assam, Op Vijay and Op Parakram. For their heroic acts performed during the 1971 War, the battalion was conferred Battle Honour ‘Hilli’ and Theatre Honour ‘East Pakistan’ by the President of India. The battalion has been the proud recipient of the Chief of the Army Staff unit Citation for their meritorious performance in Op Rakshak during 1993-95 in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. The gallant troops of this unit have also won a number of individual awards which includes 01 Kirti Chakra, 04 Veer Chakras, 05 Shaurya Chakras, 21 Sena Medals, 01 Vishist Seva Medal, 07 mentioned-in-dispatches, 56 COAS’ Commendation Cards, 03 VCOAS’ Commendation Cards, 27 Army Commanders’ Commendation Cards, 01 AOC-in-C Commendation Card and two DG NCC’s Commendation Cards.

10 Assam Regiment, raised on 01 Mar 1981, has earned its coveted place on the Mission for its outstanding performances in Op Blue Star, Op Falcon, Op Rakshak I & II in the state of Jammu & Kashmir during 1995-97, Op Vijay and Op Rhino. The battalion has been the proud recipient of the Chief of the Army Staff Unit Citation for their meritorious performance in Operation Rakshak during 1995-97 in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Soldiers and officers of this excellent outfit have also earned one SC, one VSM, seven SM, one Mentioned-in-Dispatch, 38 COAS Commendation Cards, 01 VCOAS Commendation Card and 15 Army Commander’s Commendation Cards.

19 R&O Flight was raised on 01 Dec 1974 at Jodhpur. Since its raising it has participated in all major operation during which includes Op Meghdoot, Op Trident and Op Falcon. 19 R&O Flight played a sterling role during Op Vijay and for it’s outstanding performance was awarded the coveted COAS Unit Citation. The gallant troops of the Flight have been awarded won 01 SC, 03 VSM, 01 YSM, 02 Sena Medal, 01 Mention-in-Dispatch, 11 COAS Commendation Card and 03 GOC-in-C Commendation Card.

In addition to the above mentioned meritorious battalions troops of 6 SIKH LIGHT INFANTRY battalion are being rotated after completion of six months and selected personnel of 301 Infantry Brigade and Level III Hospital are getting induct4ed in the mission area.



The Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Information System and Training) while addressing the troops praised the outstanding work done by the Indian contingents in several United Nations Peace Keeping Operations in the past and expected to live up to their standards. He reminded them of the challenging tasks ahead and exhorted them to demonstrate their tradition of selfless dedication, devotion and humanitarian approach for ensuring peace in Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa..

VS/SS


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http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/ind ... 22554.html

Quote:
Indian peacekeepers leave for Sudan on March 5
February 29th, 2008 - 5:40 pm ICT

By Praful Kumar Singh

New Delhi , Feb 29 (ANI):

....

In this regard, the Indian Army today announced to send a contingent of 2088 personnel for the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).

The contingent will comprise of 2 NAGA, 5/1 Gorkha Rifles and other units, and will leave for Sudan on March 5.

....

The 2 NAGA regiment was raised on February 11, 1985 and is the second battalion of the youngest regiment of the Indian Army. The regiment is the proud recipient of the Chief of Army Staff Unit Citation twice and has been bestowed with the Battle Honour Maskoh and Theatre Honour Kargil for their splendid performance during Operation Vijay.

The unit has won one Maha Vir Chakra, two Vir Chakra, one Yudh Seva Medal, two Sena Medals, two Vishisht Seva Medals and other awards.

The 5/1 Gorkha Rifles was re-raised on January01, 1965. During the Bangladesh Operation in 1971, the battalion was honoured with the Battle Honour Darsana and the Theatre Honour East Pakistan . In addition, the unit has been awarded the Chief of Army Staffs Unit Citation.

The unit has been awarded three Maha Vir Chakras and two Vir Chakras.

The contingent will comprise 878 soldiers from 2 NAGA regiment, 810 soldiers from 5/1 Gorkhas. 400 soldiers from the Force Signal Unit, the 619 Transport Company and a level II hospital of the Indian Army will support both battalions.

...

Presently, India is ranked as the second largest troop contributor to the UN.

....

Ninety Indian soldiers and officers have died while serving in UN peacekeeping operations till now. (ANI)


http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/ind ... 17451.html

[quote]BSF teams leaves on Congo peacekeeping mission
February 13th, 2008 - 7:30 pm ICT

New Delhi, Feb 13 (ANI): A third contingent of 125 Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, including 10 women, left for Congo on Wednesday to join a United Nation’s peacekeeping mission there.

According to officials, the contingent was meticulously selected, based on factors like good record of service, professional competence, excellent physical fitness and skill at arms.

“The parameters of selection were very strict this time,â€


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IAF/IA Cheetah:

Image

A UN helicopter takes off from his base...
RUTSHURU, Democratic Republic of the Congo: A UN helicopter takes off from his base in Rutshuru 24 January 2006 to patrol the area after some tensions in North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo. The United Nations peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was Tuesday flying home the bodies of eight Guatemalan soldiers killed in a shootout with gunmen, the MONUC mission said. The bodies of the troops, who died Monday in clashes with suspected Ugandan rebels in the DRC's volatile northeast, were to be flown to their central American homeland via Entebbe airport in Uganda, said Jennifer Bakody, the UN mission's spokeswoman in the regional centre of Bunia. AFP PHOTO/JOSE CENDON (Photo credit should read JOSE CENDON/AFP/Getty Images)


Familiar armoured Tata 407:

Image

A MONUC armoured veichle drives past a g...
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo: A MONUC armoured veichle drives past a giant electoral poster of the DRCongo incumbent President Joseph Kabila 10 July 2006 in Kinshasa, DRCongo. The electoral campaign is under way for the legislative and presidential elections set for July 30. AFP PHOTO/MARCO LONGARI (Photo credit should read MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)


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PostPosted: 09 Oct 2008 21:00 
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Heavy fighting in Congo involving IAF gunships ....

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage ... ack+rebels

Quote:
Rahul Singh, Hindustan Times
Email Author
Masisi (Congo), October 04, 2008
First Published: 00:14 IST(4/10/2008)
Last Updated: 00:26 IST(4/10/2008)

With Indian Air Force helicopter gun- ships killing hundreds of rebels and infantry combat vehicles pun-ching through rebel positions, India’s largest-ever deployment of soldiers on foreign soil has taken on a muscular new turn in the heart of Africa.

The Democratic Republic of Congo's internal conflict — whose resolution is a test case of strong global intervention — has led an Indian brigade under the United Nations mission (known by its French acronym MONUC) to rework its peacekeeping strategy from a velvet glove to an iron fist.

The first signs of the changed Indian posture were visible late September in Masisi in the collapsing eastern province of North Kivu, the epicentre of the conflict between rebels and government troops. UN North Kivu brigade commander Bipin Rawat, who learnt his trade in Kashmir and India's northeast, ordered Mi-25 and Mi-35 attack helicopters of the IAF to strafe positions tightly held by the private army of rebel general Laurent Nkunda.

The underutilised Russian-made IAF gunships fired a salvo of rockets that killed hundreds of Nkunda's rebels. The offensive sorties allowed ill-equipped and ill-trained Congolese government troops drive back rebels who had come menacingly close to seizing Masisi, which is on a vital road axis some 80 km from North Kivu’s capital Goma.

Indian Army infantry combat vehicles, used only for a cosmetic show of force thus far, rumbled into life with machineguns blazing and cannon punching through rebel defences in the flashpoints of Tonga and Kanyabayonga where Indian posts are located.

“In the past one or two years, some degree of passivity has seeped into our operations,” Brigadier Rawat told the Hindustan Times. He said UN rules allowed the use of force in specific scenarios.

“We’ve decided to fight with our equipment,” said Rawat, who took charge of the Indian brigade this August.

There are now more than 4,500 Indian troops with the UN’s costliest peacekeeping mission in the Congo, a sprawling (the size of western Europe), dangerous and notoriously unstable country formerly known as Zaire. It was here that heavyweight boxing champion Muhammed Ali knocked out George Foreman 34 years ago in a world-famous bout called “Rumble in the Jungle”.

The Congo is home to half of all Africa’s forests and has enough diamonds, gold and copper to make it the continent's richest country. But it has come to represent the worst of Africa: most of its 60 million people live on less than $1 a day and its women and children have suffered almost unimaginable sexual violence.

It was first ravaged in the late 19th century by Belgium's King Leopold, who ran it as a personal colony. Later, one of Africa’s worst dictators, Mobutu Sese Seko — backed for strategic reasons by the West — famously squandered public money on Concorde charters to Disneyworld and million-dollar shopping sprees to Brussels and Paris.

After Seko was deposed 11 years ago, the Congo descended into bloody patchwork of war and butchery that claimed the lives of 3 million Congolese and at its height embroiled nine countries. To growing criticism of its irrelevance, the UN then launched its mission to stabilise the Congo, with 2006 seeing the first democratic elections in 40 years. The Congolese turned out in millions to vote in Joseph Kabila as president.

Rawat said his message is that Indian troops “will walk the extra mile to protect the Congolese people”, whose mistrust of MONUC has grown manifold in recent weeks. “It is not a pretty picture to see an Indian soldier, tested in the hottest of fires, hunker down in a jeep even as unruly crowds pelt stones,” said Rawat. “It’s happening here. Locals are asking what difference has MONUC made.”

That changed when an 8,000-strong crowd recently took shelter at a 10 Assam base in Masisi when the Congolese army traded heavy machine gun and mortar fire with the rebels.

The crowd clapped as IAF attack helicopters fired rockets. Rawat said his soldiers would resist “the temptation to go over the top at all costs”.

That’s because all rebel groups are signatories to a January 2008 peace accord, and the key mission of troops is to bring them to the negotiating table.

India has a long history of deploying troops in the Congo: the first Indian blue berets (the colour used on UN duty) served from 1960 to 1965. It is the only UN mission where an Indian soldier — Captain G.S. Salaria — was awarded the Param Vir Chakra. He died in 1961, trying to save the Katanga province from falling to rebels.


Other stories ...

http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=80730

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hN6 ... 9ZegnOr3pQ

http://www.zeenews.com/articles.asp?aid=473672&sid=WOR

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage ... +for+peace

Quote:
....

Group Captain N.J.S. Dhillon, commander, Indian Aviation Contingent, said, "We support Pakistani soldiers just the way we support Indians. Pakistani commanders are flown regularly by Indian pilots." Before MONUC's experimental eastern division in Goma was disbanded this August, its reins were in the hands of an Indian major general whose deputy was a Pakistani brigadier.

Peacekeepers from Pakistan and India, the second and third largest contributor of troops to the UN, may have unveiled extraordinary solidarity to the world, but do conversations never turn to the Kargil conflict or the humiliating defeats Pakistan has suffered in previous wars? Lieutenant Colonel Arvind Mishra, who commands a company of Sikh troops at Rutshuru, 70 kms north of Goma, said, “We cannot detach ourselves from the past. But we can respect each other as soldiers.”


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PostPosted: 09 Oct 2008 23:11 
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Quote:
The underutilised Russian-made IAF gunships fired a salvo of rockets that killed hundreds of Nkunda's rebels
.

unless these rebels were bunched in thousands like they were in a kumbh mela - salvo of rockets wont kill hundreds.


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PostPosted: 10 Oct 2008 11:36 
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Either that, or it was several salvoes of rockets.


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PostPosted: 11 Oct 2008 00:39 
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still, even with salvoes of rockets, the target has to be pretty dense to create that kind of damage.

maybe reading some local reports will paint a better picture


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PostPosted: 11 Oct 2008 01:18 
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They were all riding on top of a convoy of petroleum tanker-lorries, while wearing vests of grenades. One grand cook-off triggered by just one IAF 57mm rocket :P

But yeah that report is reminiscent of ISPR. Wish they were more detailed on the operation, as it is more a peacekeeping one.


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PostPosted: 28 Oct 2008 22:24 
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http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id ... 1&catnum=0

Things seem to be heating up in the congo and the rebels are still advancing. Anyone have any more info whether the IA has decided to retreat or stand and fight. If the UN decides to withdraw should the Indian troops withdraw. Unfortunately if that happens then other TPLAC war lords will be less inclined to treat the IA with respect.

Quote:
KILIMANYOKA, Congo (AP) - Rebels vowing to take Congo's eastern provincial capital of 600,000 people advanced toward Goma on Tuesday as Congolese troops and U.N. tanks retreated, while tens of thousands fled to a makeshift shelter.

The sudden influx tripled the size of the camp in Kibati in a matter of hours, said Ron Redmond, a spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency. A hundred refugees a day, mostly women and children, were also fleeing across the border into Uganda, that country's Red Cross said.

In Kibati, a few miles from the front line, young men also lobbed rocks Tuesday at three U.N. tanks with Uruguayan troops heading away from the battlefield.

"What are they doing? They are supposed to protect us," complained Jean-Paul Maombi, a 31-year-old nurse from Kibumba.

On Monday, peacekeepers fired into the air at one U.N. compound that came under a hail of rocks, and city leaders said three people were killed. Mobs hurled the stones to protest the U.N.'s failure to protect them from the rebels, despite having 17,000 peacekeepers in its Congo mission.

Renegade Gen. Laurent Nkunda has vowed to seize Goma, a lakeside city of 600,000 on the border with Rwanda in Central Africa.

Nkunda signed a cease-fire with the government in January, but defected because he said the government showed no interest in protecting his Tutsi people—a tiny minority of 3 percent in east Congo—from Rwandan Hutu militiamen who escaped to Congo after helping perpetrate Rwanda's 1994 genocide. Some half a million Rwandan Tutsis were slaughtered in that genocide.

But Nkunda's ambitions have expanded since he launched a fresh onslaught on Aug. 28—he now declares he will "liberate" all of Congo, a country the size of Western Europe with vast reserves of diamonds, gold and other resources. Congo's vast mineral wealth helped fuel back-to-back wars from 1997-2003.

More than 200,000 people have been forced from their homes in the last two months, the U.N. says, joining 1.2 million displaced in previous conflicts in the east. Outbreaks of cholera and diarrhea have killed dozens in camps, compounding the misery.

U.N. efforts to halt Nkunda's rebellion are complicated by the country's rugged terrain, dense tropical forests that roll over hills and mountains with few roads. U.N. provincial chief Hiroute Guebre Selassie told angry civil leaders on Monday that Nkunda's fighters also were using guerrilla tactics.

"We cannot use the helicopters to prevent them advancing, because they hide in the bush, they fight on many fronts, and they hide themselves among the population," she said. "(That) strategy makes it very difficult for us to master the situation."

On Monday, peacekeepers in attack helicopters fired at the rebels trying to stop them taking Kibumba, a village on the main road 30 miles north of Goma. But fleeing civilians say the fighters overran Kibumba anyway.

A U.N. helicopter gunship patrolled the sky Tuesday in Kilimanyoka, seven miles north of Goma. Rebel spokesman Bertrand Bisimwa said he expected the helicopters to soon attack their front line, which he said is within 12 miles of Goma.

The chief U.N. mandate is to protect the population. But since the peace deal it also is helping the Congolese army disarm and repatriate Hutu militiamen—by force if necessary.

Yet Bisimwa, the rebel spokesman, claimed Tuesday the Congolese army has abandoned dozens of its positions to Hutu militiamen.

"It's the Hutus who are on the front line and whom we are fighting, not the army," he said. U.N. peacekeepers "leave us no choice but to fight on."

Nkunda long has charged that Congolese soldiers fight alongside the militia of Hutus, an ethnic majority of about 40 percent in the region.

Some 800 Hutu militiamen have voluntarily returned to Rwanda, the U.N. says, but the fighters recruit and coerce Congolese Hutu children and young men into their ranks daily—far outnumbering those who have returned home.

Civil leaders led by Jason Luneno said if U.N. peacekeepers cannot halt the rebel advance, the peacekeepers should leave Congo and "the people will descend into the streets to demand the government resign."

Tensions also are high on the diplomatic front. Congo this week repeated charges that Rwanda's Tutsi-led government is sending troops across the border to reinforce Nkunda. Rwanda denies the charges and the U.N. says they are unfounded.

The U.N. refugee agency said a team under "tight security" was heading to the village of Kibati to prepare for an influx of refugees. Wailing babies and children with worried frowns were among the thousands there who had no idea where they were headed.


UN prepares for DR Congo evacuation

Aid workers to be evacuated as DRC rebels advance

United Nations Radio


Last edited by Rahul M on 28 Oct 2008 22:30, edited 1 time in total.
edited links for readability.


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PostPosted: 30 Oct 2008 18:33 
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Just watched BBC this morning, The UN(indian soldiers) camp came under attack from stone throwing mobs blocking the roads yesterday. Showed footage of Indian Tanks, APC's on patrol don't know if they are file images, pretty sure they were images from yesterday. But civilian population are vacating. It is reported that the Rebels are beginning to surround Goma.

Indian peacekeepers caught in Congo firing
Quote:
Zeenews Bureau

Goma, Oct 30: Indian peacekeepers deployed in UN Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) for peacekeeping in that nation came under attack on Wednesday night in the increasing violence between Congolese government forces and rebels in North Kivu, a region where the situation has deteriorated over the past several days.

Commenting on the issue, the Indian Army said on Thursday that the Indian soldiers in DRC are on a United Nations (UN) peace mission, therefore it cannot influence the soldiers. However, the UN Security Council has already been familiarised with the issue, the Army added.

A Lt Colonel and two other personnel of Indian Army in Congo reportedly sustained injuries when a contingent of UN troops was attacked in Congo.

Indian Army is the largest contributor to the 17,000-strong UN force. According to reports, Indian troops were urged to position themselves in North Kivu province from Goma. Two armoured personnel carriers belonging to the Indian troops was attacked with five rockets.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged to end the violence. He further blamed a "collapse in discipline" in units of Congo's armed forces for the escalating looting and attacks on UN and associated personnel in North Kivu.


Army on Congo attack: UN must decide
Quote:
The Indian Army has reacted to the Indian soldiers being caught in the middle of the escalating conflict in war-torn Congo saying that they have intimated the United Nations mission and its upto them to take action.

Lt. Gen SPS Dhillon, Deputy COAS, said, “The attack on our soldiers in Congo has been taken note of at the highest level. We have informed the United Nations Security Council as well. We are awaiting a decision from the UN. This is their mission and we cannot influence our soldiers.”

Meanwhile, a Lt Colonel and two other personnel of Indian Army on a peace mission in Congo were injured when a contingent of UN troops came under attack in Congo. An Indian battalion deployed in UN Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) for peacekeeping in that nation came under attack in northern Kivu province during a battle between government and rebel forces, sources said in New Delhi.

Five rockets were fired on two armoured personnel carriers belonging to the Indian troops while they were maintaining security for civilians, resulting in injuries to a Lt Col and two other personnel, they said. In the wake of fighting between the government forces and rebels, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has issued an urgent appeal for an end to the conflict.

UN envoy in Congo Alan Doss has demanded more troops to be deployed in the region after heavy fighting between rebels and government forces in eastern Congo, close to the regional capital Goma. Indian Army, which is the largest contributor to the 17,000-strong UN force, is expected to stop any advance by rebels, who have made significant progress in the last two days. Indian troops were asked to deploy themselves from Goma to adjoining North Kivu province, after the Uruguayan battalion deployed in the region fled.

"After the Uruguayan battalion fled, Senegalese troops were deployed there but they also refused. After their refusal, we were asked to go there," the sources said. The government and rebel forces in Congo are locked in an intense artillery barrage just 30-km short of Goma, where government troops are blocking access to the road. The Congolese Army has alleged that it is being attacked by the neighbouring Rwandan army.

Indian Air Force's Mi-35 helicopter gunship’s, under MONUC mission, are also taking part in operations in support of the Congolese national Army’s military operations. Thousands of internally displaced people are rushing towards Goma from places where fighting is going on. MONUC compound also came under attack on Monday from demonstrators, who pelted stones vehicles destroying United Nations property. One civilian was killed during these violent demonstrations.


UN and Congolese rebels in standoff
Quote:
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo, Oct 30, 2008 - The leader of Congolese rebels warned UN forces blocking their way to the refugee-swollen city of Goma on Thursday that they would open fire if the UN tried to prevent their takeover of the city.

Around 800 peacekeepers from the UN's MONUC force are the only obstacle to a complete rebel takeover of the strategic eastern Democratic Republic of Congo city after government forces fled the rebel advance on Wednesday.

The UN Security Council has condemned the rebel assault, and begun moves to send troop reinforcements to Goma.

Rebel leader Laurent Nkunda said he wanted to avoid a direct confrontation with UN peacekeepers, but would not shirk a fight for the city if necessary.

"We will respect MONUC. We cannot engage them, but if they shoot at us, they are soldiers, we will have to defend ourselves," he told AFP in a telephone interview conducted in English.

"MONUC cannot refuse me to go to Goma. They are incapable of securing the people of Goma so how can they refuse me to go there."

Nkunda's forces declared a unilateral ceasefire Wednesday after being kept at around 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Goma by MONUC helicopter gunships.

UN forces had blocked tens of thousands of people displaced by the fighting from entering Goma, a French aid group said Thursday.

"In Goma, tens of thousands of people fleeing the fighting are trapped at the gates of the city by MONUC," the Secours Catholique said.

The UNHCR said 45,000 displaced people had fled a camp outside the city on Wednesday, panicked by a rushed withdrawal of government forces.

The UN is meanwhile scrambling to bring in extra troops from other parts of eastern DRC.

"We are trying to bring additional troops to protect the civilians in Goma in the coming three to seven days," the head of UN peacekeeping Alain Le Roy told reporters.

The 17,000-strong MONUC has roughly 6,000 troops deployed in Nord-Kivu to bolster weak government forces in their battle with disciplined, Nkunda forces.

France's UN Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert told reporters that European Union foreign ministers would meet in Brussels Monday to discuss various options to bolster MONUC.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Wednesday that Paris backed sending an EU battle group of up to 1,500 troops to DRC.

This follows a call by DRC President Joseph Kabila for the dispatch of a "multinational force" to beef up MONUC.

Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht said he was in favour of sending 2,000-3,000 European troops to the conflict-hit area.

"I think that European military action makes sense... Humanitarian corridors need to be opened up and a cease-fire must be respected," De Gucht told the French language Le Soir newspaper.

The city was gripped by chaos Wednesday as government troops and residents scrambled to leave, panicked by the influx of some 20,000 refugees from further north.

Nkunda, speaking from the Masisi district of eastern Congo, where his National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) forces are headquartered, said the inhabitants of Nord-Kivu were still vulnerable to atrocities committed by Congolese forces and an allied Rwandan Hutu rebel group.

He argued he would have to take control of Goma if MONUC proved unable to protect civilians there.

"If MONUC is incapable of securing Goma, then I have to," Nkunda said.

The 15-member UN Security Council unanimously adopted a non-binding statement late Wednesday that condemns moves by ethnic Tutsi warlord Nkunda's forces and "demands that it brings its operations to an end."

It also expressed concern at "reports (of) heavy weapons fire across the Democratic Republic of Congo-Rwanda border."

Kinshasa has accused Rwanda of backing Nkunda while Kigali has repeatedly demanded that the DRC disarm Rwandan rebels believed to have played an important in the 1994 genocide against Rwanda's Tutsi minority.


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PostPosted: 30 Oct 2008 18:59 
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reports i read earlier today spoke of rwandan army tanks providing supporting fire from across the border which caused the DRC army to break and flee. also UN/IAF helicopters were thwarted from strafing rebels when they started holding civilians as hostages and shields. if the DRC army flees and law and order breaks down, every militia in the region will go into a free for all frenzy. going to get very very ugly, especially for the civilians

i hope this time around the UN (read security council) stops dicking around and authorises firm action


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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2008 10:16 
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Indian Army BMP-2s...

Image

Quote:
UN armored vehicles passe between Congolese fleeing Kibumba Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp, about 35 kilometers (21.7 miles) north of the provincial capital Goma on October 27, 2008. Thousands of Congolese fled to Goma from Rugari and from the Kibumba IDP's camp after violence started between forces loyal to renegade general Laurent Nkunda and the Congolese army. A new government was formed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC) as violence escalated in the east of the country, reported national radio-television of Congo (RTNC) on October 26, 2008. AFP PHOTO/Walter ASTRADA (Photo credit should read WALTER ASTRADA/AFP/Getty Images)


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Joined: 30 Dec 2005 18:28
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Location: Kali blessing station No 5, Mleccha Defence Tower No 34, Harshavardhan Line - Western Sector
does MONUC have any heavy armour in the area? I have only seen BMP's and now some artillery heading out to Congo. If the rebels attack with T55's then they will be very vulnerable. the Mi35's will have a lot of work to do - but if the rebels are using human shields then its going to get very very ugly

it might be prudent to send out some CAS a/c out to theatre quickly


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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2008 21:47 
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BRF Oldie

Joined: 08 Aug 2006 18:43
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Hopefully, UNSC stops messing about and gives instructions quick.


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PostPosted: 02 Nov 2008 00:49 
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BRF Oldie

Joined: 30 Dec 2005 18:28
Posts: 10500
Location: Kali blessing station No 5, Mleccha Defence Tower No 34, Harshavardhan Line - Western Sector
things are going quiet... the IA troops are badly exposed in Congo, they could get caught in the cross fire, and get the blame for civilan deaths...


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