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UNIIMOG to State Language

Bangladesh Army

Whenever we think about Bangladesh being in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, first the word comes to mind: Bangladesh Army, which was previously Pakistan Army and started its journey after the liberation of 1971, though now a days the Royal Air Force, Naval Force, and Police Force of Bangladesh are working for the purpose.

Normally, an army is formed to secure its national territory from external enemies, but our army is maintaining its duty as a diplomatic organization while they are in UN Peacekeeping Operations securing its own territory. The Bangladesh Army has a lot of fame in and out of the country, and they are flourishing the name of Bangladesh in the world. The journey of the Bangladesh Army started with UNPKO in 1988 through the United Nations Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group (UNIIMOG). After the journey starts, the Bangladesh Army works with UNPKO through fame and faith as one of the best contributors to the UN in almost 45 missions. Sometimes the UN ranks Bangladesh as the 1st or 2nd most important contributor to UNPKO regarding sending troops; it’s undoubtedly a matter of pride for the Bangladeshi people.

Bangladesh in Peacekeeping
Bangladesh Army in Peacekeeping

The Bangladesh Army joins UNPKO in Sierra Leon and Liberia as part of its routine work to reconstruct the countries’ roads, educational institutes, government offices, and hospitals, as well as to educate and provide medical treatment to the people after the devastating civil war in the countries. Then the army got the chance to come to the people of the country and let them know our Bangladeshi nation, history, cultures, languages, etc. by their amicable behaviors.

The African people are attracted day by day to the behavior of the Bangladesh Army, so they started to learn Bengali. The Bangladesh Army also taught them the language with a lot of love. Slowly, the people learn the culture and language of the Bangladesh Army. Now Bengali is the second official language of Sierra Leon and Liberia on the African continent only because of the active diplomatic activities of the Bangladesh Army, which is thousand miles away from Bangladesh.

The president of Sierra Leon, Ahmad Tezan Kabba, declared Bengali the state language of the country in recognition of establishing peace and reconstruction of the country by the Bangladesh Army on the eve of the inauguration of a 54-kilometer road constructed by the Bangladesh Army on December 12, 2002. Even they express their interest in recruiting teachers from Bangladesh for science and mathematics, being convinced by the educational system of the Bangladesh Army. After such recognition and opportunity, if we can’t utilize it for the national interest of our nation, we must blame the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Peoples Republic of Bangladesh, for the discontinuation of the issue.

Bangladesh in Peacekeeping
Bangladesh Army in Peacekeeping

On the other hand, in the time of our national election, all political parties of the country demand the deployment of the Bangladesh Army because the political parties as well as the nation hope only the Bangladesh Army can arrange a free and fair election for the nation without any kind of corruption or allegation. Besides these, we wait for the army for any kind of national demand, like floods, cyclones, fire accidents, or any big projects. So why don’t we enlarge our army and involve every sector since it’s been our center of hope?

On the other hand, our nation is suffering from corruption as well as political unrest. So let’s celebrate the achievement of our national force, enlarge it from every sphere of angle, and involve them where we, the nation, feel. Then we, the nation, would be a stronger nation in the world and could play a vital role in world politics, making Bangladesh an example for other nations.

If we provide more efforts, the army may lead the UNPKO, not only becoming an important part of the UN, which started its journey through UNIMOG. Another hope is that Bengali will become the most popular language in the world and not only the second official language of Sierra Leon and Liberia but also the first or state language of many countries.

Firmly, we can also hope that the army, which taught the African people beyond the border how to speak Bengali, will be able to furnish their own Bangladeshi inside the border with how to build a corruption-free as well as political unrest-free nation easily.

Muhammad Al-Helal
MPhil Researcher (ABD)
International Relations
University of Dhaka
+880 1911 98 11 44

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Written by:

Muhammad Al-Helal
Muhammad Al-Helal
Columnist and MPhil Researcher (ABD), International Relations, University of Dhaka

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