Interview

I feel proud and honoured to represent my country at international forum

Bishnu Prasad Bhatta, a Deputy Superintendent in the Armed Police Force, Nepal, is one of 351 Nepali police officers currently serving under the UN flag in South Sudan. There are also some 1,740 military troops in UNMISS serving across the African country. UNMISS’s mandate is to protect civilians and build a durable peace in South Sudan. Conflict in the country has driven four million people from their homes. UNMISS is protecting over 200,000 civilians in its Protection of Civilians (POC) sites. Deputy Superintendent Bhatta recently participated in a UN Police (UNPOL) operation to identify gang members outside a POC site in Juba. Here he recounts his experiences in South Sudan.

Bishnu Prasad BHATTA UNMISS-UNPOL

Can you say something about yourself?

My name is Bishnu Prasad Bhatta, presently I am the OIC FPU Coordinator for UNMISS.

Can you describe what is going on in South Sudan?

This is a targeted cordon and search operation which is conducted based on intelligence. The intelligence was
that the criminal gangs are conducting criminal activities hiding weapons and other prohibited items in this area
where we are having operation today.

How threatening and dangerous are criminal activities to the people around here?

One of the main mandate of UNMISS is protection of civilian. In order to fulfill this main mandated task, the
area around the protection of civilian site must be secure first. Criminal gangs planning and operating their
activities in this area just adjacent to the POC site is obviously a big threat for the security of IDPs staying
inside. That is why this cordon and search operation of today is very important.

What is the result of today’s operation. We can see that nine young men are being questioned.

This is an intelligence led operation, though up to now we have not found any incriminating items. However,
the people found around this area will be warned not to be involved in planning and conducting any criminal
activities in this area. Similarly, the area is being searched by UNMAS as well to ensure that no any prohibited
weapons are being hidden. And when these people are given a stern warning, we believe that, the message will
spread among their colleagues which will definitely create a deterrence effect for not to be involved in any
criminal activities around here.

How does it feel for you personally to be involved in this operation?

We have two FPUs involved in this operation; they are Nepal FPU and Rwanda FPU. As I am working in FPU
Coordination Office, my presence here to monitor, advice and coordinate FPU’s activities with other mission
element is very essential for the success of this operation.

And personally do you think you are making a good contribution?

Sure, as I am coordinating FPU’s activities with other mission component, I am sure I am making a good
contribution in this operation.

How proud do you feel to be representing your country here in South Sudan in a UN peacekeeping
Mission?

As a citizen and as a police officer of a country, I feel proud and honoured to represent my country in this
international forum where I am working with the countrymen from all over the world in order to make the
deployed area a safer place. Obviously it’s my privilege and I feel honored for this contribution by representing
my country here.

Comments