The mortal remains of the missing Indian Army officer, Lieutenant Colonel Gaurav Solanki, was found inside Lake Kivu on Thursday in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lt Col Gaurav Solanki was amongst one of the officers who went for a kayaking expedition in Lake Kivu on September 8. While all the other officers returned to their base, he was missing since the afternoon that day. Lt Col Gaurav was posted with the Indian contingent in the United Nations Peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Intensive search efforts were being implied by the army and the UN Peacekeeping mission to locate the officer. The rescue operations were being carried out in Lake Kivu with the help of speedboats and helicopters. With the ongoing search, the officers' body was later retrieved from the lake on September 12. The Military Staff officer’s remains were found approximately one kilometre from the Tchegera island near Goma.
The Indian peacekeepers commissioned in the Democratic Republic of Congo had recently received appreciation for their professionalism in serving the UN mission. The high standards and humane approach of the Indian Army have garnered admiration by the Congolese citizens. The first team of Indian female peacekeepers was also deployed in Congo three months back. As of March 2019, India is the second-largest troop contributor to the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). Nearly 2,624 peacekeepers and 274 police personnel from India have been deployed in Congo.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres honoured an Indian police officer, Jitendra Kumar with a prestigious medal for sacrificing his life during the world body's peacekeeping mission in the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kumar was awarded the Dag Hammarskjold medal on May 24. India has been serving in peacekeeping missions for a period of 57 years and about 90,000 Indian soldiers have served in various parts of the world. Apart from Congo, India has also sent medical teams, battalion groups, and engineers to Lebanon, Cambodia, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Golan Heights, Rwanda, and Ethiopia-Eritrea.