“Blue Angel” emergency capabilities tested


UNMIS immediate reaction to potential conflict was tested in a mock exercise  last week in Kurmuk, Blue Nile State, Sudan.

Codenamed “Blue Angel”, the exercise rehearsed the ability of UNMIS’ Force Reserve Battalion, based in Kadugli (Southern Kordofan), to rapidly deploy in an emergency.

Some 76 UNMIS peacekeepers were successfully airlifted by four UN helicopters at very short notice from Kadugli to Kurmuk in the exercise, which was planned in coordination with UNMIS sites in Malakal and Ed Damazine.
“Blue Angel shows that our peacekeepers stand ready to be deployed immediately for the protection of civilians and UN personnel in a conflict scenario,” said UNMIS Force Commander Lt. Gen. Paban Thapa, who traveled to Kurmuk to personally oversee the drill.
“It was crucial for us to review various external and internal factors and to incorporate the results in future planning”, the Lt. Gen. added.

The exercise was well received by the local population and authorities.

UNMIS is mandated under UN Security Council resolution 1590 to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence without prejudice to the responsibility of the Government of the Sudan and within the mission’s capabilities.

Pic: UNMIS helicopter

Source: www.unmis.unmissions.org