Bengal Tigers and Guerrillas
Sweating under a tropical sun in near 100 degree heat, Bangladeshi troops take a break during an exercise; a mock guerrilla attack on a defenseless village.
We read the headlines and hear about the UN sending in troops to conflict, but ever wonder where those UN troops come from?
Soldiers are contributed from many countries and altogether the UN has about 100,000 troops in the field. No single nation has more uniformed personnel on operations than the UN. The UN forces are contributed by 123 nations ranging from Austria to Benin and Serbia to the United States. Bangladesh is one of the largest, contributing more than 7,000 troops and police. No single nation has more uniformed personnel on operations than the UN.
But how do all of these troops, from different countries with different languages, cultures and training learn to work as one? In addition to national professional training, uniformed personnel need specific training to operate in a UN multi-national context. In Bangladesh, this training takes place at the Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training 30 kms outside the capital city of Dhaka.
Mr. DW was fortunate to visit the training centre and to witness an exercise to demonstrate Bangladeshi troops responding to a guerrilla attack on a village. Bangladeshi troops provided both the guerrillas as well as the responding forces.
As guerrilla forces abduct women, children and livestock from a village, the Bangladeshi peacekeepers respond with escalating force culminating in the deployment of an infantry company of some 120 soldiers equipped with helicopters and armoured personnel carriers to defeat the guerrillas and liberate the captives.
A well-earned rest after the exercise….