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UN body backs Indian officer in stand-off with Philippines

The Philippines military has reportedly sought probe against Lt Gen Singha.

Written by Pranav Kulkarni | New Delhi | Published: September 4, 2014 4:19 am

The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) has come out in support of an Indian Lt General saying he acted as per the rule book, a day after a Filipino officer accused him of endangering the safety of peacekeeping troops from Philippines during a stand-off with Syrian rebels over the last weekend.

The Chief of Staff of the UNDOF in Syria, an official from Philippines, had resigned citing differences in handling the Golan Heights crisis with force commander Indian Lt General Iqbal Singh Singha alleging that “the UNDOF commander wanted to save the Fijians at the expense of the Filipinos”.

The Philippines military has reportedly sought probe against Lt Gen Singha pertaining to standoff at the Golan Heights wherein 44 Fijian peacekeepers of the UNDOF were abducted by one al Nusra, a Syrian rebel group. The Filipino officer said that Singha had ordered the Filipino peacekeepers in the UNDOF to “lay down their weapons” to ensure safety of the Fijian peacekeepers.

Backing the Indian official, the UN mission in a statement said, “Philippines bypassed the chain of command and the permanent representative of Philippines in UN , New York, COAS, Philippines and the erstwhile Force Commander of UNDOF, Maj General (Retired) Natalio Ecarma III (presently deputy minister in Philippines), adversely interfered in the decision making mechanics of UNDOF, jeopardising the safety of own and Fijian troops.”

“The field commander was in constant touch with the Position commanders directly and was appreciating their brave stand and exhorted them to stay calm and not aggravate the situation as efforts were ongoing for their safe passage .It may be recalled that on four occasions in the past the FC had successfully handled similar situations,” it said.

According to the note, the COS of the mission — the Filipino officer who resigned — took orders from “Manila and acted with myopic focus only on the contingent, compromising the mission planning to ensure safety of all peacekeepers irrespective of contingents”.

“These interference further deteriorated the operational capability of the Philippines contingent which after the announcement of their withdrawal from the mission in the third week of August 14, were losing interest and displayed considerable drop in performance,” it stated.

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    white_buffalo_95503
    Sep 3, 2014 at 11:29 pm
    Useless UN
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      Zstimman
      Sep 4, 2014 at 10:01 pm
      ISIS has shown no problem cutting the heads off of their captives. If you support your countryman in this dispute, please offer your head as tribute to ISIS. Otherwise, shut up.
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        Ace
        Sep 22, 2014 at 3:36 pm
        Kumar, Kumar! Your general has 30 years of what combat experience? Perhaps only reading a rule book. In combat, you fight, in times of war you dont lay down your weapon. Try to watch some hollywood war movies, it may teach you something, not bollywood dancing. Never deal with a terrorist! That's one thing but your general seems to think otherwise. He should be court martialed and hanged.
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          Buw aya
          Sep 8, 2014 at 6:08 am
          Too much curry & Onion!!!
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            Buw aya
            Sep 8, 2014 at 6:13 am
            a STUPID Soldier REACHED the rank of a LT. GENERAL. Unbelievable!!!
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