The Bangladesh Armed Forces and the Bangladesh Police have been actively involved in a number of United Nations Peace Support Operations (UNPSO) since its formation in the 1970s. Its first deployments came in 1988, when it participated in two operations - UNIIMOG in Iraq and UNTAG in Namibia. The then soldier turned politician - President elect of Bangladesh, Lieutenant General Hussain Muhammad Ershad initiated these deployments in 1988 for the first time with UNIIMOG.
Later, as part of the UNIKOM force deployed to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia following the Gulf War the Bangladesh Army sent a mechanized infantry brigade (approx. 2,193 personnel). Since then, the Bangladesh Army has been involved in up to thirty different UNPKO's covering as many as twenty five countries. This has included activities in Namibia, Cambodia, Somalia, Uganda, Rwanda, Mozambique, former Yugoslavia, Liberia, Haiti, Tajikistan, Western Sahara, Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Georgia, East Timor, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire and Ethiopia. As of October 2014, Bangladesh contributed the highest number of total personnel to United Nations Peacekeeping Operations; with 8,758 personnel attached to various UN peacekeeping forces worldwide.
As a result of its contributions to various UN peacekeeping operations, eighty eight Bangladesh peacekeepers have lost their lives, out of which eighty four belong to Bangladesh Army, one to Bangladesh Navy and three to Bangladesh Air Force The leader of Bangladesh contingent to Namibia UNTAG Lieutenant Colonel Md. Faizul Karim died in Windhoek, Namibia in 1989. He was the first Bangladeshi officer who died on a peace-keeping mission abroad.
The performance of Bangladesh's contingents has been described as being of the highest order and the appointment of several senior Bangladesh military officers as the Commander of UN peacekeeping missions and Senior Military Liaison Officers, may be seen as further recognition of the Bangladesh Army's growing esteem in the peacekeeping community. In 2008, the BBC in described the Bangladeshi UN Force as The Cream of UN Peacekeepers.
- Momen, Nurul. 2006. "Bangladesh-UN Partnership". The Daily Star. February 19, 2006. Retrieved 2 February 2009 from: http://www.thedailystar.net/suppliments/2006/15thanniv/bangladesh&theworld/bd_world18.htm
- Momen, 2006
- Buerk, Roland (18 January 2006). "The cream of UN peacekeepers". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3763640.stm.
- Buerk, Roland (18 January 2006). "The cream of UN peacekeepers". http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/3763640.stm. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
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