RI to send more soldiers to Unifil in Lebanon

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia will soon send 1,243 military troops to Lebanon to join the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

The soldiers have been following a special training course at the Cipatat Infantry Education Center in Bandung, West Java, since Thursday (June 30) for a month.

They consist of the Task Forces of Konga XXIII-F/Unifil Mechanic Infantry Battalion, Konga XXVI D-2/Unifil Force Protection Company (FPC) and Konga XXV-D/Unifil Military Police Unit (MPU).

They will replace the previous contingent which has been joining UNIFIL since last year.

The Task Force of Konga XXIII-F/Unifil Mechanic Infantry Battalion consisting of 1018 people will be led by Task Force Commander Lt. Col Suharto.

The Task Force of the Konga XXVI D-2/Unifil Protection Company (FPC) comprising 150 people will be headed by Task Force Commander Captain Wimoko.

And the Task Force of Konga XXV-D/Unifil Military Police Unit (MPU) consisting of 75 people will be led by Task Force Commander Lt. Col Ida Bagus Rahwan.

The Indonesian Defense Force (TNI) Chief`s Operational Assistant Major General Hambali Hanafiah said the assignment to UNIFIL is very noble, respectful and full of pride because it help maintain world peace.

"Every soldier must be proud because the Garuda Contingent (Konga) is always appreciated wherever it is assigned. it also receives positive recognition from the United Nations and other countries," he said.

He reminded the TNI officers to learn and understand the local people`s characters and follow the latest developments because the Middle East region is experiencing political turbulence which will affect Lebanon, where the soldiers will be posted.

As peace keepers, the soldiers must be knowledgeable about the situation and conflicts happening in the region, he said, adding that they must also know how to respond.

He also told the officers to be able to become impartial mediators, and not take side to any of conflicting groups.(*)