26 January 2011 - Commemorating a 1950 constitution establishing India as a secular, democratic republic, UNMIS Indian Battalion celebrated the 62nd anniversary of its republic day at the mission's compound today in Malakal.
Hosted by the UNMIS Sector III Commander Col. Suresh Radhakrishnan, the guest list included UNMIS Force Commander Maj. Gen. Moses Bisong Obi, Malakal area Coordinator Hendrik Bruyn and senior officials of the Upper Nile State government, led by Governor Simon Kun Puoch.
The Force Commander congratulated the government and people of India on behalf of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Sudan, Mr. Haile Menkerios.
"The Indian Battalion Engineers, Level II Hospital, and the Force Reserve Battalion have performed excellently well," said Maj. Gen. Obi. "I also note that India has a total of 27 staff officers and 14 military observers in the mission who are performing creditably well."
Major achievements credited to the Indian Battalion in Sudan thus far include the establishment of veterinarian hospitals in several counties across the states of Upper Nile, Unity, and Jonglei. Staff members of the mission's field hospital in Malakal have also given first aid training to medical personnel assigned to the locally based Joint Integrated (military) Unit.
"Your contribution to nation building has been immense and is acknowledged by the grateful nation," said Col. Suresh as he addressed his troops. "Here in Sudan, you have been carrying out your peacekeeping duties with total professionalism with due regard to the principles of United Nations."
He urged his troops to continue to uphold the high standards of the Indian Defence Forces during their service in the peacekeeping mission.
India ranks third worldwide among countries that contribute troops to UN peacekeeping operations. Currently, 890 Indian soldiers are assigned to UNMIS.