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The Garuda Contingent (Indonesian: Kontingen Garuda, often abbreviated Konga) is a group of peacekeepers drawn from the Indonesian military that serve with the United Nations. Since its first mission in 1956, it has deployed to three continents.

Garuda Contingent (Kontingen Garuda)
Indonesian Army infantryman participating in the GPOI.jpg
An Indonesian soldier UN peacekeeper
Active 1957 – present
Country  Indonesia
Role Peacekeeping
Nickname(s) Konga
Engagements Various peacekeeping missions with the United Nations

HistoryEdit

The Garuda Contingent was first deployed to Egypt and Israel in November 1956 as part of the United Nations Emergency Force. It was first under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Hartoyo, who was later replaced by Lieutenant Colonel Suhadi Suromihardjo.[1]

The next two contingents were sent to the Congo. The first contingent consisted of 1,074 troops and was led by Colonel Prijatna (later replaced by Lieutenant Colonel Solichin); this contingent served from September 1960 to May 1961. The second contingent to the Congo consisted of 3,457 troops and was led by Brigadier General Kemal Idris (later replaced by Colonel Sabirin Mochtar); this contingent served from 1962 to 1963 and saw one casualty.[1]

The Garuda Contingent's fourth and fifth deployments were to Vietnam in 1973 and 1974, towards the end of the Vietnam War. This was followed by a sixth deployment to Egypt after the Yom Kippur War under the command of Colonel Rudini. The Garuda Contingent later returned to Vietnam and Egypt for a seventh and eighth deployment, respectively.[1]

After an eight year hiatus, the Garuda Contingent deployed as part of the United Nations Iran–Iraq Military Observer Group under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Endriartono Sutarto, then Lieutenant Colonel Fachrul Razi and Johny Lumintang.[1]

In 1992, five Garuda Contingent members participated in the United Nations Operation in Somalia I under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Bibit Santoso. This was later reduced to four soldiers, under the command of Major CZI Budiman.[1]

During the Bosnian War, the Garuda Contingent deployed medical officers and military observers in their fifteenth mission. This was not well received by the Indonesian populace, who wished that the soldiers took a more active, military role.[2] This was followed by a deployment to Georgia and a 15-man deployment to Mozambique in 1994. That same year they were also deployed to the Philippines under the command of Brigadier General Asmardi Arbi (later replaced by Brigadier General Kivlan Zein) to help deal with the conflict between the Moro National Liberation Front and the Philippine government.[1]

In 2003, the Garuda Contingent deployed on its twentieth mission, to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A total of 171 troops deployed originally, including 32 medical staff and 28 marines. They were deployed with peacekeepers from Nepal, India, and Bangladesh with the peacekeeping mission being led by France.[3] As of 2009, the focus had shifted to infrastructure and a seventh contingent had been deployed.[4]

The Garuda Contingent was part of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. In the 2010 Israel–Lebanon border clash occurred on 3 August 2010, this clashes marked the deadliest incident along the border since the devastating 2006 Lebanon War. The U.N. force stationed in southern Lebanon urged "maximum restraint" following the clashes along the so-called blue line, a U.N.-drawn border separating Lebanon from Israel. UNIFIL peacekeepers were in the area where the clashes took place.United Nations peacekeepers tried to hold off the routine Israeli tree-pruning that led to a deadly border clash with Lebanese soldiers. An Indonesian U.N. battalion was on the scene, and they did their best to try to prevent it, but they were unable to.

Indonesian peacekeepers tried to no avail to calm the situation before the clashes erupted. However, the fighting were increasingly intensified, so this small contingent of UNIFIL forces were ordered to retreat or find cover then report back to the base. The Indonesian contingent, under intense gunfire and shelling between the two opposing forces, retreated and returned to their base, but two soldiers accidentally separated from the main group and got trapped in the situation. The stunned and exhausted soldiers were helped by some locals.

DeploymentsEdit

Indonesian peacekeepers under the UN Flag, circa 1957
An Indonesian peacekeeper shows Dungu local population that Learning is Fun
Location(s) Deployment Name Period
Egypt, Israel (UNEF) Garuda Contingent I November 1956 – September 1957
Zaire (UNOC) Garuda Contingent II September 1960 – May 1961
Zaire (UNOC) Garuda Contingent III 1962–1963
Vietnam (ICCS) Garuda Contingent IV January – August 1973
Vietnam (ICCS) Garuda Contingent V August 1973 – April 1974
Egypt (UNEF) Garuda Contingent VI December 1973 – October 1974
Vietnam (ICCS) Garuda Contingent VII-A and VII-B April 1974 – June 1975
Egypt (UNEF II) Garuda Contingent VIII (1–9) September 1974 – October 1979
Iraq, Kuwait (UNIIMOG) Garuda Contingent IX August 1988 – November 1990
Namibia (UNTAG) Garuda Contingent X June 1989 – March 1990
Kuwait (UNIKOM) Garuda Contingent XI (1–5) 1992–1995
Cambodia (UNTAC) Garuda Contingent XII-A – XII-D July 1992 – April 1993
Somalia UNOSOM I) Garuda Contingent XIII July 1992 – April 1993
Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNPROFOR) Garuda Contingent XIV November 1993 – 1997
Georgia (UNOMIG) Garuda Contingent XV October 1995 – November 1995
Mozambique (UNOMOZ) Garuda Contingent XVI June 1994 – December 1994
Philippines (Philippines - MNLF ceasefire monitors) Garuda Contingent XVII October 1994 – November 1994
Tajikistan (UNMOT) Garuda Contingent XVIII 1995
Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) Garuda Contingent XIX 2001
Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) Garuda Contingent XX 2003
Liberia (UNIMIL) Garuda Contingent XXI 2003
Sudan (UNMIS) Garuda Contingent XXII 2008 – 2009
Lebanon (UNIFIL) Garuda Contingent XXIII 2007 – 2011
Nepal (UNMIN) Garuda Contingent XXIV 2007 – 2011
Lebanon (UNIFIL) Garuda Contingent XXV 2008 – 2017
Lebanon (UNIFIL) Garuda Contingent XXVI 2008 – 2012
Sudan (UNAMID) Garuda Contingent XXVII 2008 – 2012

ReferencesEdit

Footnotes
  1. ^ a b c d e f Jusuf, Muhammad (2003). "Pasukan Perdamaian Indonesia Bertugas Lagi di Kongo" [Indonesian Peacekeepers Deployed Again] (in Indonesian). Indonesian Army. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
  2. ^ Perwita 2007, p. 147
  3. ^ Siboro, Tiarma (19 July 2003). "RI set for peace keeping mision (sic) to Congo". The Jakarta Post. Archived from the original on 12 August 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
  4. ^ "TNI sends replacement troops to Congo". The Jakarta Post. 15 October 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
Bibliography