Adchit Al-Qusayr, Lebanon: Indonesia’s contribution to world peace is uncontestable. Indonesia has the credentials, track records, and long history. The world puts great confidence in Indonesia’s commitment and contribution to world peace.
This was confirmed by Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi at the headquarters of Indobatt Adchit Al-Qusayr, Lebanon (26/2).
Foreign Minister Retno arriving at the gate of the Indonesian Battalion (Indobatt) headquarters was greeted by the Pasambahan dance by female peacekeepers and the drum band of Garuda contingent in the UN Peace Mission in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
In front of hundreds personnel of UNIFIL’s mechanical infantry contingent, Foreign Minister Retno gave the greeting Garuda! … Garuda! … Garuda!
“All the Indonesian people are proud of the contribution and role of the Garuda contingent in Lebanon and the mission of all our peacekeepers all over the world, who excel and perform very well and successfully win the hearts and trust of the local community,” she said.
To the personnel of UNIFIL’s mechanical infantry, the Indonesian Foreign Minister stated that the Indonesian nation has consistently contributed to world peace. Indonesia’s continuous commitment and contribution to world peace is the DNA of the Indonesian nation, mandated by the constitution.
This is particularly noticeable from Indonesia’s enormous contribution to the security and stability in Asia and the Pacific, especially in Southeast Asia.
In Indobatt, Foreign Minister Retno also held discussions with female personnel from Garuda contingent that amounted to 48 people. Women peacekeepers according to the Indonesian Foreign Minister had their own superiority and added value. They could be more easily accepted and trusted in helping women and children.
“As a woman I am very proud …. the number of Indonesian women peacekeepers continues to increase… this is an extraordinary added value … the largest Muslim country in the world sending women peacekeepers to the UN peace mission,” she said.
Of the 41 countries contributing to UNIFIL, the Garuda contingent is currently the largest force with 1,290 personnel, followed by Italy with 1,007 personnel and India 899 personnel. Garuda troops have a special closeness with the local community.
Under the Civil Military Coordination (CIMIC) program, the Garuda contingent routinely undertakes activities such as cultural activities, the provision of health service, conducting briefings to schools on Indonesia and UNIFIL, the provision of books and teaching materials, voluntary work for cleaning up villages and village public facilities, and provide training to the local police.
These activities made the Garuda contingent well known and accepted by the people especially in South Lebanon.
Foreign Minister Retno also directly saw the closeness between the of Garuda contingent and the local community while visiting one of the medical camps in Thaibeh district, at the time Garuda contingent was providing health services for the local community. AS a routine Once a week, the Garuda contingent troops come to the medical camp in Thaibeh district to provide general and dental health services. The Garuda contingent troops also make house visits to people’s homes if they need healthcare service outside the camp’s medical operational time. Such public services have made Indonesian peacekeepers very close to the local community.
UNIFIL forces were formed by the UN in 1978 to support the implementation of the mandate of the UN Security Council resolution 425 and 426 which called on Israel to withdraw its troops from South Lebanon. Since 2006 with the mandate of UN Security Council resolution 1701 of 2006, there has been an increase in the number of UN peacekeeping personnel, including with the participation of the Indonesian Garuda contingent.
Indonesia is currently the largest contributor to UNIFIL’s troops with a total of 1,290 personnel. The mandate of the UNIFIL forces is among others is monitoring the ceasefire between Lebanon and Israel, restoring security and maintaining peace in South Lebanon, assisting the Lebanese Government to exercise its authority effectively in South Lebanon, and assisting the safe disbursement of humanitarian aid and the safe return of refugees. (Source: MoFA RI)