New Delhi: An Army officer posted with the India contingent in the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo has gone missing.
Army sources on Thursday said that Lt Col Gaurav Solanki has been missing since Saturday afternoon after he went kayaking in Lake Kivu. Lt Col Gaurav Solanki had gone to Lake Kivu on September 8, 2019. After kayaking, all returned, however, the officer did not.
All efforts to include speed boats and employment of helicopter are being made to locate and rescue the officer. The search operations are still on. India is one of the largest contributors, in terms of troops to UN Peacekeeping forces. Indian troops soldiers posted with these missions have served with distinction.
The Indian Army`s participation in the UN peacekeeping operations spans a period of 57 years covering 43 UN Missions, in which over ninety-thousand Indian soldiers have served in various parts of the world. Indian troops have taken part in some of the most difficult operations, and have suffered casualties in the service of the UN. Professional excellence of the Indian troops has won universal admiration. India has taken part in the UN peacekeeping operations in four continents. Its most significant contribution has been of peace and stability in Africa and Asia. It has demonstrated its unique capacity of sustaining large troop commitments over prolonged periods.Presently, India is ranked, as the third-largest troop contributor to the UN. The Indian government has honoured its soldiers for gallantry, whilst serving the noble cause of world peace. India has sent battalion groups, engineers, medical teams, military observers and staff personnel to Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Lebanon, Ethiopia-Eritrea, Congo, Sudan, and Golan Heights.
Observers and staff personnel have made their contributions to the international peace efforts in Central America, Iran, Yemen, Iraq, Kuwait, Liberia, Lebanon, Mozambique, Congo, Ethiopia-Eritrea, Sudan and Golan Heights.
After Korea (1950-52) and Congo (1960-63), India again sent a brigade group to Somalia and Congo displaying its resolve to support the international community in peace and security issues. Former Army Chief General Bikram Singh had served in Congo as Divisional Commander.