CHISINAU, March 31, 2011 - The Joint Peacekeeping Forces (JPF) from the Eastern region of the Republic of Moldova carried out Thursday, March 31, a peacekeeping exercise. The event was held at a checkpoint between Gura Bicului and Bicioc villages, South sector of the Security Zone.
According to the plan, a group of rebels attacked a peacekeeping checkpoint. Servicemen had to resist them according to the rules. 110 Moldovan, Russian and Transnistrian peacekeepers were mobilized to interfere. Other 300 JPF officers were put on alert. Peacekeepers were given armored and transportation equipment and they beat back the enemies.
Col. Aurel Fondos, Chief of Republic of Moldova Peacekeeping Forces to the Security Zone, stated the exercise was meant to evaluate the efficiency of tactical groups in such situations and consolidation of checkpoints in the Security Zone.
”Through this exercise, we intended to check how tripartite forces act in specific situations. Peacekeepers’ actions were accurate, which reveals the fact they are well-prepared for missions in the Security Zone”, Aurel Fondos stated.
The event brought together members of the Joint Control Board (JCB), OSCE representatives and military observers. Ion Solonenco, JCB Deputy Chairperson on behalf of Republic of Moldova, stated that, beginning 1992, JPF officers maintained stability in the Security Zone as an actor worth trusting. However, the military peacekeeping operation may change into a mission of international civil observers if negotiations on the Transnistrian conflict settlement issue are successful, Solonenco said.
Joint Peacekeeping Forces consist of three groups: Russian Army Group, Republic of Moldova Force Group and Tiraspol Force Group. There are a total of 15 checkpoints and nearly 1500 officers deployed to the 225 km length and 12-20 km breadth Security Zone.