UN's approval crucial for military deployment in conflict zones - Former Armed Forces chief

01 Nov 2023 06:52pm
SHAH ALAM - The United Nations' authorisation is pivotal for any country seeking to deploy its military forces in conflict zones, underscoring its crucial role in global peacekeeping endeavours.

In saying this, former Chief of Defence Forces General (R) Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin added that Malaysia's decision to be involved is contingent upon the endorsement of the United Nations (UN).

“The deployment of any force, particularly for peacekeeping, necessitates a clear mandate from the UN.

“Without the UN's endorsement, no force can be dispatched to a conflict zone. In essence, UN approval and the consensus of the involved parties, such as the Israeli government and the Palestinian authorities, are paramount,” he told Sinar Daily.

He added that without their agreement, the UN would not grant authorisation for any peacekeeping mission.

“This underscores the fundamental role the UN plays in overseeing and regulating peacekeeping operations,” he said.

Besides, he said that when a peacekeeping force is deployed under the UN umbrella to a conflict zone, all parties involved, including Israel, Hamas, or the Palestinian authorities, are expected to adhere to the conditions established by the UN.

“This ensures that peacekeeping operations are conducted in a manner consistent with UN guidelines and regulations,” he said.

He stressed that the deployment of troops in such cases must be done under the purview and authorisation of the UN.
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“The countries contributing troops must be agreed upon by the relevant parties, which means that Israel and Hamas, for instance, must consent to the presence of specific countries in the conflict area.

“It is essential that any deployment is in alignment with the UN's decision and the consensus of the parties involved,” he said.

Commenting further, he said Malaysia's foreign policy was resolute in its commitment not to interfere in the affairs of other nations.

“Any deployment of troops is contingent on the UN's decision, as the UN serves as the global regulatory authority in such matters,” he said.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan was reported as saying recently that the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) will be ready in the event of any decision or mandate to be deployed as a peacekeeping force to Palestine.

He said this included the country's MALBATT peacekeeping unit under the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), if required urgently, including for the purpose of evacuating Malaysians in affected areas.

"Although there has been no decision on the matter as of now from the United Nations (United Nations), we are ready, and the ministry is closely following developments in Palestine and cooperating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"So if the government says to send troops to Palestine, we will follow the directive, because any decision on that is not within the jurisdiction of the Defence Ministry but rather subject to the decision of the Foreign Affairs Ministry," he said.