Indonesia to add to UN peace force

Indonesia to add to UN peace force

Purnomo Yusgiantoro. (ANTARA/Wahyu Putro A.)

We have set a target of sending 3,500 personnel by 2014."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia`s Minister for Defense Purnomo Yusgiantoro said Indonesia will add its personnel to the United Nations (UN) Peace Force.

"Indonesia has 1,780 personnel now, and in early 2014, we will increase the number to 2,800 personnel to be deployed in conflict areas such as Lebanon, Haiti, Darfur, and Congo," said the Defense Minister on Tuesday (Oct 1).

Yusgiantoro added that in future, the number of Indonesian Peace Force personnel would be increased to 3,500 to join the UN mission in Mali and Syria.

"We have set a target of sending 3,500 personnel by 2014, in order to be on the list of top ten countries contributing to world peace," he said.

Besides increasing the number of personnel, Indonesia will equip its peace force contingent with an M-17 helicopter squadron.

These efforts are aimed at enhancing Indonesia`s position from top 20 to top ten countries contributing to world peace.

"It is also in line with President Yudhoyono`s expectation to include Indonesia in the top ten countries," he said.

The UN has had faith in the Indonesian peace force since its first affiliation in maintaining world peace mission in 1957. The Garuda Contingent (Indonesian peace force) always performs well and it is something that locals should be proud of.

During the UN mission from 2006 to 2012, Indonesian Military sent 1,933 personnel for deployment in several countries. In December 2012, the Garuda Contingent was awarded "The United Nations Medal in The Service of Peace" for its outstanding duty in Lebanon.

The award is indicative that Indonesia takes an active role in establishing and maintaining world peace as mandated by the 1945 Constitution.