ASTANA – The Kazakh Defense Ministry explained the differences between the first independent peacekeeping contingent within the mission on the Golan Heights and the previous Kazakh peacekeepers after the Kazakh Parliament approved the deployment of up to 430 servicemen to participate in United Nations (UN) missions on Jan. 19, reported Kazinform on Jan. 30.
Unlike previous Kazakh peacekeepers, 139 military personnel will be deployed to the Golan Heights with their own military equipment, weapons and property as a reserve company to the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) under the flag of Kazakhstan, the Defense Ministry said in a response to Kazinform request.
“Previously, the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan sent a peacekeeping contingent as part of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon in 2018 under the command of the peacekeeping battalion of the Indian Armed Forces. That is, the peacekeepers of Kazakhstan took with them only personal weapons and personal property,” the response reads.
According to the ministry, the first contingent within the mission will be deployed for 12 months. The following contingents are also planned to stay on the mission for the same period, which is a UN recommendation for contingents of other countries.
“430 is the maximum number of peacekeepers. However, the Kazakh Armed Forces are not currently sending 430 personnel at once. This is a plan for the medium and long term,” said in response.
Military personnel of the peacekeeping contingent will be paid wages worth three months’ salary for each month of service. Also, the UN will pay monthly maintenance of $1,448.
In case of injury or death of a peacekeeper during a mission in the Golan Heights, their family members will get compensation.
“Payment in the event of the death of a serviceman while on duty totals 60 monthly salaries. The UN rate of death and disability compensation is $77,000. Compensation for injury depends on the degree of damage to health varying from 0.5 to 60 monthly salaries. UN payments are also provided,” the response says.
The ministry reminded that participation in the mission is carried out at the serviceman’s request, and no measures are taken against military personnel who refuse to participate.
“While selecting, the ministry will take into account age of servicemen, terms of military service, military rank, qualifications, health, physical and psychological preparation,” the response says.