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Peacekeeping : the soldier's Acid Test

December 13, 2010 | Del H Khan

"Peacekeeping is not a job for soldiers,
but only soldiers can do it"

-----Dag Hammarskjold

THE INCEPTION

on a june morning my commandant arrenged a "Tea Out" for his staff captain and as a farewell remark i uttered "...i got a new grid reference to go, which is somewhere near JUBA in South Sudan. please pray for my men, me & success of my assignment, sir."

soon i joined my new unit which was a company of 175 strength and i was appointed as one of the rifle platoon commander. on february 6, 2010 i looked back from other side of the glass wall of the airport immigration terminal and found my beloved wife weeping and my one year old sweet daughter waving her soft palms with bundles of qestions in her eyes.

just before boarding we were informed that the flight was delayed for another 24hours as clearance from sudan authority could not be obtained yet. so that was a pleasant surprise for our families and a momentous message regarding the forthcoming mission in sudan. however on the very next day we started towards sudan and for most of us that remained as the first overseas flight experience.

THE TROPICAL SUNSHINE

the south sudanese mirage over the Juba runway and the tropical sunshine flashed our eyes. we were wormly received by Bangladeshi officers and men. a russian white chopper was waiting for my platoon and soon we started towards our next destination, TORIT. its a team site located in Eastern Equatoria. there was a lone neem tree inside the team site boundery. accomodations for troops and other UN staffs, known a CORIMEC containers were orderlt laid. source of wated was river KENNETI and food used to be supplied each friday from Juba by road. providing force protection to the UN personnel and property was the main task within an area of responsibility of 82,542 km² by a company strength of troops. however the handing and taking over procedure started and soon it appeared to me that peacekeeping was much more challanging and command in such complex scenario was going to be a real Acid Test for me.


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