Brigadier General Mohammad Nazmul Haque, afwc, psv has been appointed as the Chief of Staff at the Office of Military Affairs, Department of Peace Operations (DPO), psc York at the United Nations Headquarters. During the visit to the United States in February this year, Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed, SBP (BAR), BSP, BGBM, PBGM, BGBMS, psc, G, PhD met with various dignitaries including UN Under Secretary General. During the meeting, he requested for sending more contingents from Bangladesh to the UN mission and appointing more officers from the Bangladesh Army to various higher and important posts at the UN headquarters. The senior leadership of the United Nations expressed a positive commitment in this regard and as a result, an officer of the rank of Brigadier General of Bangladesh Army has been appointed to this important post at the UN Headquarters. It is to be noted that there has been no opportunity or request for appointment of any officer from Bangladesh for this post which has been achieved by Bangladesh for the first time only at the request of the Chief of Army Staff.
This is one of the key appointments at the UN Headquarters is a matter of great honor for Bangladesh. It is to be noted that these appointments are selected through a fierce competition among the nominated candidates from different troops contributing countries. Brigadier General Nazmul is the first Bangladeshi military officer to be appointed to such a high and important post at the UN headquarters. Shortly after the Army Chief’s visit to the United States, an officer of the rank of Brigadier General (Brigadier General Manzur) of Bangladesh Army was appointed to the post of Sector Commander in the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). In addition, 20 additional appointments have been made to the United Nations as military observers and staff officers.
The Army Chief’s visit to the United States has opened the door to unprecedented possibilities for Bangladesh in UN peacekeeping missions. During the visit, he proposed for the Central African Republic (CAR) to further increase the manpower of Bangladeshi peacekeepers and their deployment is ongoing. The CAR has already received a final proposal to upgrade Bangladesh Contingent’s Level-1 Hospital to Level-2 Hospital with an increase of 50 personnel from Bangladesh Special Forces Company (BANSFC) and Light Quick Reaction Force (LQRF). There is also a possibility of deploying Quick Reaction Force (QRF) and Bridge Engineer Company of Bangladesh Army in this same mission. Bangladesh has also received a proposal from the United States to deploy a special force comprising United States and Bangladesh to CAR. The army chief has promised to deploy a strong quick reaction force and an aviation unit to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, which will be deployed soon. Already
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR) has a six-member Aeromedic Evacuation Team (AMET) and 13 additional military police personnel upon request from UN HQ.
At present, 15 contingents of Bangladesh have been included in the United Nations Capability Readiness System (UNPCRS), which has created opportunities for the deployment of new contingents in UN peacekeeping missions. Evaluation of these contingents and advisory inspection activities are underway by the UN delegation. Two contingents have already been deemed eligible as UNPCRS, Rapid Deployment Level (RDL) and are receiving 25% maintenance reimbursement from their position in Bangladesh.
The army chief has decided to increase the number of women peacekeepers at the UN from 1.91% to 6% this year. Notably, Bangladesh Contingent’s female engagement team in South Sudan has received praise from the Force Commander for their unique contributions.
During his visit to the United States, General Aziz also discussed with the senior leadership of the United Nations the issue of payment of long-term arrears. As a result, a significant amount of outstanding reimbursement has recently been paid by the United Nations. Besides, four contingents of Bangladesh engaged in Mali are getting risk premium.
Due to the tireless initiative of the Chief of Army Staff of Bangladesh, General Aziz is the first country to ensure that all peacekeepers are vaccinated before being deployed to UN missions and those who have already been deployed in various missions are being vaccinated under UN supervision.
It may be mentioned that Bangladesh is currently serving as the top peacekeeper in Nine(09) different UN peacekeeping missions around the globe.