Kazakhstan Peacekeepers Deployed to Golan Heights


According to the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed at United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York between the Kazakh government and the UN regarding the deployment of a peacekeeping contingent to the UN Disengagement Observer Force mission.

This will be the first time in the history of Kazakhstan when the UN has given the country a mandate to carry out an independent peacekeeping mission. Earlier, Defense Minister Ruslan Zhaksylykov reported that 139 servicemen will be sent to the Golan Heights between Israel and Syria. They will maintain a ceasefire between the warring parties in accordance with the mandate of the UN mission.

In order to fulfill the UN mission with professionalism, peacekeepers from Kazakhstan have undergone a thorough selection and training process in accordance with all the requirements and standards of the UN. The training lasted six months, and took place at the center for peacekeeping operations under the Kazakh Ministry of Defense.

“The instructor staff of the centers of peacekeeping operations, demining and military medicine participated in the training of the servicemen. To improve practical skills and interoperability with officers of the contingent’s headquarters, classes were held on military decision-making at the operational-tactical level,” the Defense Ministry reported.

Kazakhstan’s peacekeepers were taught English, rules of engagement, and international and humanitarian law. They also trained in how to protect the peacekeeping base, organize roadblocks, patrols, disarm explosive devices, and provide assistance and evacuation. Based on the results of the training, experts said Kazakhstan’s peacekeeping contingent showed a high level of training and motivation.

Kazakhstan has painstakingly equipped the peacekeepers in accordance with UN standards. They have been provided with modern weapons and military equipment. The contingent has armored wheeled vehicles with combat modules, KamAZs, high cross-country vehicles and engineering equipment — as well as all the necessary lifesaving equipment. Also, one of the vehicles has been converted for evacuation of the wounded. It’s equipped with an oxygen machine, defibrillator, medicines and other medical equipment.

The Kazakh ministry’s specialized department says that during the peacekeeping mission the servicemen will be paid three times their monthly allowance, with an additional $1,448 from the UN budget. Moreover, after completion of service to the mission, they can count on treatment at a health resort and an extra 14 days added to their basic annual leave.

Peacekeepers from Kazakhstan will include individual servicemen as military observers as well as staff officers. Members of specialized units are also in demand; they include infantry, medical, reconnaissance and engineering.

Over the past 16 years, more than 600 Kazakh servicemen have participated in seven UN peacekeeping missions spread across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Currently, 19 peacekeepers from Kazakhstan are serving in UN contingents in Lebanon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Western Sahara and the Central African Republic.