JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesia on Tuesday (May 29th) honoured 31 soldiers who died during UN peacekeeping missions, in its first ever commemoration of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, Detik News reported.
"The martyr soldiers deserve honorary titles, not only as national patriots, but also as global peace soldiers," Admiral Agus Suhartono, commander-in-chief of the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI), said during a ceremony at the TNI Peacekeeping Centre in Sentul, Bogor.
Indonesia has been sending soldiers to join UN peacekeeping missions in conflict areas around the world since 1957, he said.
"I very much value the mission and roles Indonesian soldiers undertake as peacekeepers," he said.
Currently, he said, 1,838 Indonesians are on peacekeeping missions: 1,460 in Lebanon, 191 in Congo, 168 in Haiti, 12 in Syria, three in South Sudan, three in Darfur and one in Liberia.
He expressed hope that the international peacekeeping efforts would enhance a sense of community among soldiers of different nations who wear the blue helmet "symbol of hope" and help build a more peaceful future, especially in countries ravaged by conflict.