KIGALI - Lt. Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba, is today scheduled to officially take over the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) as overall Force Commander.
The force was operating under the command of Nigerian Gen. Martin Luther Agwai who will be handing over to Nyamvumba.
The Rwanda Defence Force spokesman, Maj Jill Rutaremara confirmed that Nyamvumba is expected to start work today September 1.
Nyamvumba who was recently appointed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to head the world’s only joint peacekeeping force, traveled to the war torn Sudanese region of Darfur for a few weeks of familiarisation ahead of today’s hand over.
Nyamvumba is expected to exhibit his extensive leadership qualities and operational experience as he has previously held various senior command positions in the Rwandan military.
Until his appointment at the top UN job, Nyamvumba was head of logistics department in the Rwanda Defence Forces, a job he combined with the chairmanship of the Military High Court.
Nyamvumba’s ascendance to the UNAMID top military position makes him the first Rwandan to head this peacekeeping force. Previously, Generals Karenzi Karake and Jean Bosco Kazura served as Joint Deputy Force Commanders.
Currently, Rwanda has close to 3,000 forces in Darfur.
Meanwhile, media reports from Sudan indicate that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has awarded Agwai with the Nilein Order (first class) in recognition of his efforts in the Darfur peacekeeping mission.
Over 300,000 people are thought to have died and at least two and a half million displaced from their homes in war torn Darfur region of Sudan.