Pakistani female peacekeepers play vital role in stability

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Foreign Desk Report

NEW YORK: Ahead of the International Day of U.N. Peacekeepers, the leader of first-ever Pakistani Female Engagement Team (FET) serving the U.N. mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), known as MONUSCO, has said that through hard work they have established strong bonds with local people, especially women, as part of the world body’s efforts to promote peace in the central African country.
“Resultantly, enhanced protection has led to a decrease in sexual violence cases, recruitment of child soldiers and threats by armed groups in the region,” Major Saba Anwar, the team leader, said in an interview with media in New York from her base in DRC’s province of South Kivu. At the same time, she said that the outbreak of coronavirus not as significant in DRC compared to rest of the world has not hindered the their routine activities aimed at bringing about a change in people’s lives for the better.
“My team (FET) and MET (Mixed Engagement Team), while adopting safety protocols, is conducting patrolling activities to impart COVID-19 awareness and prevention techniques among the locals, along with surveillance of suspected corona cases.”
Composed of 49 Pakistani female army officers, the team has been a part of MONUSCO for the past about 11 months. The officers are psychologists, stress counsellors, vocational training officers, gender advisors, doctors, nurses, operations, information and logistics officers.