Video: UN Peacekeeping: Saving Lives Under Fire

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The Video

Major Furqan Niazi, UN Peacekeeping: Saving Lives Under Fire, May 19, 2024 © United Nations


Every day United Nations peacekeepers protect the vulnerable and help to build and protect a fragile peace.

In January this year, an ambush on a UN vehicle transporting injured civilians left a peacekeeper and several community members dead in the disputed territory of Abyei.

Those that survived owe their lives to the courage and bravery of peacekeepers serving with the UN mission in Abyei, UNISFA - and to the selfless actions of one of them.

Major Furqan Niazi from Pakistan retells his story of losing a colleague while saving lives under fire.

Video Details

UN Peacekeeping: Saving Lives Under Fire
Running time
5m 10s
May 19, 2024
About Major Furqan Niazi
UN Peacekeeper from PAKBATT, United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA)


  1. Dr. Shanzay Gul, Wife of Major Furqan:

    The day he was shot his whole family was in this house. We didn’t know obviously.

    I knew where he was going, at that time I was like scared because I know he was in a place that was obviously that was dangerous.

    But it is difficult to say that he was shot. It's like two months ago he was shot.

    But until now whenever I say گولی لگی تھی [he was shot]

    It's difficult.

    PAUSE! [Wipes away a tear]

  2. Major Furqan Niazi:

    Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA)

    Luckily, I was out patrolling on that day.

    When the call came, we did not know that there were injuries and, you know, there was a death also.

    Many of the injured were just laying at this place and we managed to get all of the injured and inside this APC.

    Actually, this was the APC that we were in on that day. And this backside of the APC, this was the place where we just made the injured civilians sit.

    This centre place was the place where our brother, Sepoy Tariq. We just made him sit because at that moment we still thought that we could save him.

  3. Dr. Shanzay Gul:

    He called me and he told me what happened, that people got injured one of the soldiers lost his life and one was shot in the abdomen.

    One was shot in the leg.

    But, but I didn't know then who was injured, who got shot in the abdomen.

  4. Major Furqan Niazi:

    When we put all of the injured in the back, civilians and military personnel alike.

    I told the driver of the vehicle because the fire was coming. There was a lot of gunshots.

    So I told my driver to just move out of the danger zone. “Let's just move out and we'll sort out the inside spacing aspect later.”

    As the APC driver was taking the APC out of the danger zone and I was running just inside the APC.

    So as I was running so I got two bullets from the direction in which I was running.

    So one bullet was stopped by this flak jacket that I'm wearing and the bullet just went through me.

  5. Dr. Shanzay Gul:

    The first thing he said was امی کو نا بتانا، گھر میں کسی کو بھی پتہ نہ چلے ...[don’t tell mother, she and the family shouldn’t know].

    So that was difficult for me because I wanted to talk to people.

    I wanted to tell his sisters, his mother, his brother... I started crying so I avoided, at that time, I avoided talking to anyone.

  6. Major Furqan Niazi:

    I was taken first to Indian headquarters where I was given first aid, and then I was flown to level two hospital, which was run by Ghana.

    And from there I was given treatment.

  7. Lieutenant Colonel Rossi Adu-Gyamfi, GHANBATT, United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei:

    [the bullet wound] It was like the size of a fist.

    So it was a unique one.

    I'm happy that when we explained to him that from the beginning, that's going to be a very long journey.

    It will take a lot of time.

    We’ll get there.

  8. Major Furqan Niazi:

    I spent nearly two months in treatment.

    And the two months were quite long and difficult.

    And during my time over there, during my treatment, the biggest motivating factor for me was my family.

    Every day lying there in the hospital, I was thinking about my family, how am I going to greet them at the airport?

    How am I going to see my daughter, see my wife, see my mother, all of my family members.

    And now that I'm here with my family, with my daughter, with my wife, my mother, everyone.

    So every day is a blessing.

    Every day day's a bonus.

    And considering the fact that I have to go back after one-and-a-half month, two months.

    So I'm really excited to be very honest, because, you know, I'm going to a place where all of this happened and to see that place after the storm, after everything has passed, and at the place where so many people lost their lives and, you know, I got injured, my fellow peacekeeper lost his life.

    So the biggest, the biggest driving factor for me would be to complete the mission with the people that, you know, always have my back.

Major Furqan Niazi

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