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Bhutan participates in UN peacekeeping mission for first time

In a first time historic move for the country’s armed forces, Bhutan will now be participating in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions. Two royal Bhutan army (RBA) and one royal (RBG) bodyguards will serve as peacekeepers in the Middle East and Africa.

RBA lt col Ngawang Jigme has been assigned as a military observer to the UN truce supervision organization (UNTSO) mission in the Middle East and RBG lt col Kinley Wangdi and RBA major Ugyen Wangchuk will serve as staff officers with the UN multidimensional Integrated stabilization mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

According to a foreign affairs press release, the government has decided to take part in UN peacekeeping missions, as an indication of Bhutan’s commitment to the maintenance of international peace and security as a “responsible member” of the UN.

The UN has no military of its own and depends on member states to provide military and police personnel for peace operations on a voluntary basis. The government will continue to contribute personnel for peacekeeping missions. Initially, it is only offering military observers, staff officers, and individual police officers to the UN.