ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has asked the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (known by its acronym UNAMID) authorities to allow the Pakistani Formed Police Unit (FPU) deployed in the UN Mission in Darfur (Sudan) to perform its duty for an extended period of 4 months beyond the original closure of the Mission, which was set for October this year.

The request in this regard has been made for fear of spreading COVID-19 through returning peacekeepers, as the closing/repatriation of the Pakistani Mission is set for October 2020.

According to sources, the Ministry of Interior has asked Military Advisor Pakistan Mission to the United Nations, New York to make a request to the UNAMID authorities in this regard.

UNAMID is a joint African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission formally approved by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1769 on 31 July 2007, to bring stability to the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan. Beginning with Congo in 1960, Pakistan has deployed peacekeepers in virtually every continent. In the 60 years that followed, the country sent more than 200,000 troops for 46 missions in 28 different countries, consistently making it one of the top five contributors.

Pakistan’s Blue Helmets’ story is of proud and excellence. As many as 157 Pakistani peacekeepers including 24 officers have been martyred while helping restore peace and stability to the turbulent regions. Even so, its dedication to UN peacekeeping efforts has not wavered. At present, with more than 7,000 personnel deployed in 9 of the 14 ongoing UN missions, Pakistan remains the third largest source of peacekeepers in the world.

Continuing this proud tradition of the Pakistani armed forces, 78 Pakistan Army women peacekeepers are serving under the umbrella of the UN in various roles across the world. Pakistan Army women peacekeepers are serving as part of Female Engagement Teams (FETs) and as staff officers at various headquarters. Pakistan was also the first country to deploy female engagement teams to Congo on June 19, 2019. So far, around 450 women peacekeepers from Pakistan have served in UN missions.