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Choppers for peace mission

New Delhi, July 8: The Indian Air Force will make its largest contribution to a UN mission by sending a helicopter contingent for peacekeeping in Congo.

“Starting July 12, an IAF contingent will be inducted as part of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” said a foreign ministry statement issued today.

The decision to send “this specialised contingent” of over 300 personnel underlines India’s “continuing commitment to the Charter and the principles of the UN and to peacekeeping as an invaluable instrument for the maintenance of international peace and security”, the ministry said.

India is one of the largest troops contributors to UN peacekeeping activities. More than 65,000 officers and personnel have served in 36 peacekeeping efforts in the past five decades.

The decision was taken in response to the UN’s specific request for aerial support to its ground operations in Congo.

“...our participation in a difficult mission like Congo demonstrates the ability of the IAF to engage in a technically and operationally challenging mission,” the foreign ministry said.

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