Vietnamese 'Blue Beret' Soldiers at UNISFA Mission
|Exchange activities of Abyei working group, UNMISS Mission with students of Abyei Primary School. Photo: WVR|
The Abyei working group, UNISFA Mission supported Vietnam's Engineering Unit Rotation 1 in carrying out the international mission. This confirmed the position and role of pioneering Vietnamese officers in the new area, leaving good impressions in the eyes of local people, senior leaders of the Mission, international friends, and colleagues.
The group was established with the task of expanding the force, strengthening the capacity to take on new positions and supporting Vietnam's Engineering Unit Rotation 1, which is about to be deployed.
At the request of the United Nations, on January 28, 2022, the Ministry of National Defense held a ceremony to announce the President's decision to appoint 7 officers to perform tasks at the UNISFA Mission.
The Party Committee of the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations announced the Decision to establish the Abyei working group, developed regulations, and approved the working term plan.
Abyei working group was born with the responsibility of pioneers to carry out tasks in a new area, paving the way for the Engineering Unit Rotation 1- the largest unit of Vietnam ever to participate in the UN peacekeeping mission.
Challenges in first days
Taking on missions in the days leading up to the Lunar New Year is the first challenge for the members of Abyei working group. Four of the seven officers flew to the Mission on the first days of the New Year 2022. The remaining three officers must be ready to go at any time the United Nations completed all the procedures.
|Participating in the activity with the Engineering Unit Rotation 1 at Highway Base. Photo: qdnd.vn|
Moving to the UNISFA Mission is also not easy in the context of the complicated situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, the deployment process to the Mission requires up to six flights and transshipment in countries with unstable political security situations such as Sudan, Uganda.
Although the UNISFA Mission is small, it is difficult to move around. The transport infrastructure here is degraded and destroyed by war, with constant conflicts, the harshness of the weather and climate in Africa.
In the first days of arriving in the Mission, members of Abyei working group struggled with deprivations in daily life. The Mission's unsanitary water and food supply are often interrupted due to geographical isolation.
|Abyei working group supported and welcomed the Delegation of Vietnam's Engineering Unit Rotation 1. Photo: qdnd.vn|
In the rainy season, it is almost impossible for military observers at the stations to move to buy food.
Increased production and cultivation could not be carried out due to widespread flooding. In addition, Abyei is an area with many dangerous and fast-growing diseases that affect health and even threaten life.
At the mission area, Vietnam peacekeeping officers had to take on completely new positions. They did not have the opportunity to learn from the experiences of their predecessors when UNISFA was the Mission where Vietnam first deployed its forces.
|Welcoming the delegation of the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Public Security to visit and work at the UNISFA Mission. Photo: qdnd.vn|
Impression of Vietnamese blue beret soldiers
In order to perform the assigned tasks well, the members of working group researched, grasped the actual situation in the area, learned the experience of implementing the unit from international colleagues and friends to send reports back to the country.
They also coordinated with relevant departments and divisions of the Mission to conduct a survey of Highway Base - the garrison of the Engineering Unit Rotation 1.
The base serves as a basis for the head of the unit to prepare plans to renovate and consolidate regular barracks, to build facilities to serve activities during their working term.
|Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Thi Minh Phuong, head of Abyei working group participated in mass mobilization and humanitarian activities in the mission area.|
The members of the working group also act as a bridge to help the front post team coordinate with the departments, agencies of the Mission to receive equipment transported by sea, develop a plan and deploy forces in the area.
The Abyei working group continued to advise the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Engineering Unit Rotation 1 on plans, methods of organizing movement, and material and equipment preparation for collectives and individuals to move to the mission area, ensuring safety in all aspects, in accordance with the UN force deployment plan.
Vietnamese blue beret soldiers taught at Abyei High School, guided people to grow green vegetables, and gave gifts to students and poor people in Abyei area. That spread the image of the dynamic, friendly, humane, and peace-loving Vietnamese people to international friends.
On the basis of the advice and proposal to develop the force of Abyei working group, in October 2022, the Delegation of the Working Group on Vietnam participating in UN peacekeeping activities visited and inspected the Engineering Unit Rotation 1 and Abyei working group, and surveyed the UNISFA Mission.
|Major Nguyen Van Thu, a member of the Abyei working group received a certificate of merit from the head of the Abyei Department of Education for his achievements in volunteering.|
Abyei working group members advised and supported the working plan of the Delegation, ensuring the absolute safety of the visit and work at the UNISFA Mission of the leaders of the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Public Security.
The visit and work at the UNISFA Mission create an important premise for the Ministry of National Defense and especially the Ministry of Public Security to continue developing Vietnam's peacekeeping force in the coming time.
With the collective wisdom, solidarity, responsibility, and tireless efforts of the Vietnamese peacekeeping forces and Abyei working group, Vietnam is now one of the countries that send the most soldiers to the UNISFA Mission.
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