NEW -YORK - US President Barack Obama has praised the quality and discipline of Rwandan peacekeeping forces in Sudan’s war torn region of Darfur, describing their accomplishments as ‘remarkable.’
President Obama made the comments at a special meeting with a select group of leaders, whose nations are contributing forces to different peacekeeping operations across the world. Among them was President Paul Kagame.
The meeting took place at the sidelines of the on-going United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Quoting Obama, Foreign Affairs Minister, Rosemary Museminari said the US President singled out Rwanda as a nation which had made a tremendous mark in peacekeeping operations.
For this, Obama said Rwanda’s efforts were recognised by according the nation the top command post of the UN/AU hybrid force in Darfur.
The US President pledged his nation’s continued support to RDF both in training and logistical support to its Darfur contingent
On his part, President Paul Kagame commended the US for the assistance it has rendered to Rwanda since RDF’s involvement in the Darfur mission.
According to Minister Museminari, Kagame told his audience that the most important ingredients for a successful peace-keeping operation were adequate training and logistical support.
But he also emphasised that this has to be accompanied by political and collective will on the part of the benefiting nations to internally solve their problems.
President Obama called for more consultations between nations contributing troops to different missions and emphasised the need to seek out support from the local populations that are benefiting from these operations.
Rwanda has 3,500 peacekeeping troops in both Darfur and Southern Sudan.
In his packed schedule at the UN, President Kagame also had a meeting with UK Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, alongside the head of DFID.
The President and UK Secretary discussed the latest peace building initiatives in the Great Lakes Region.
Kagame also met former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair who is a member of his advisory council.
Later in the day, he joined a selected number of Heads of State in a meeting discussing health issues on the African continent that was convened by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the President of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick.
Kagame was also scheduled to address the Africa Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) bringing together African leaders.
Today, the President will deliver his annual statement to the UN General Assembly and hold a series of bilateral meetings.