Diplomacy: Bhutan has expanded its contribution to UN peacekeeping with another six security personnel.

This brings the total number of Bhutanese serving abroad in UN peacekeeping missions to 23 personnel.

Of the six being deployed, five of them are Royal Bhutan Police officers: Lt Col Tshering Penjor, majors Ugyen Penjore, Wangdi Tshering and Deychen Choden, and non-commissioned officer, Sgt Major Tashi Norbu.

Major Deychen Choden will be the second female police officer Bhutan is assigning to the UN.

The police officers will serve in the African Union/UN hybrid operation in Dafur UNAMID. This mission, established in 2007, is mandated with protecting civilians.

Its other responsibilities include providing security for humanitarian assistance, monitoring and verifying implementation of agreements, assisting an inclusive political process, contributing to the promotion of human rights and the rule of law, and monitoring and reporting on the situation along the borders with Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR).

Major Sangay Tshering of the RBA will be assigned as a military observer to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) in the Middle East. He will be joining Lt Col Ngawang Jigme who was deployed to UNTSO in September, last year.

The UNTSO was established in 1948. Military observers of the UNTSO monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements, prevent isolated incidents from escalating and assist other UN peacekeeping operations in the region to fulfill their respective mandates.

The officers called on the Prime Minister, yesterday, who wrote on social media that he thanked and wished them well.

The next assignment of UN peacekeepers is expected to take place at the end of next month as Bhutan will begin rotating its personnel.

Bhutan began contributing to UN peacekeeping in September, last year.

Gyalsten K Dorji