India to withdraw attack helicopters from Congo mission news
16 June 2011

United Nations: The United Nations establishment would appear to be quit disturbed at the prospect of losing some impressive India-supplied military firepower in the Congo with the imminent withdrawal of India's contingent of attack helicopters. India has made it clear that it will withdraw its four remaining Mi-35 attack helicopters from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) early next month after expiry of its contract with the UN mission.

The Mi-35 HindA top Indian official with the Indian mission at the United Nations here said India needed its helicopters. ''The contract has ended,'' he said.

Manjeev Singh Puri, India's deputy ambassador to the UN, also underlined the need for ''more consultation'' with troop-contributing countries about the mandate of peacekeeping missions which was getting more ''complicated.''

He said though there had been ''some movement on consultations'' but it wasn't enough.

Meanwhile, respected American magazine, Foreign Policy, has described the loss of the helicopters as ''depriving the U.N. of its most vital military asset as the country heads into a landmark presidential election.''

The Turtle Bay blog on the Foreign Policy website said, ''The Indian drawdown will deal a blow to the U.N. mission,'' the blog said, noting that France is about to introduce a resolution that calls for greater role of peacekeepers to protect civilians ahead of the elections in Congo.

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India to withdraw attack helicopters from Congo mission