KIGALI - The UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Alain Le Roy, yesterday, praised the Rwandan Government for what he called ‘remarkable’ participation in peacekeeping operations worldwide.
The long serving French diplomat currently oversees over 110,000 personnel serving in peace operations around the world.
His delegation met top government security officials and Foreign Affairs Minister Rosemary Museminali at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINAFFET).
“I came here, first, to express my gratitude and that of the United Nations for the participation of Rwanda in peacekeeping operations – it is an extreme gratitude,” Le Roy told reporters during a press briefing.
“Rwanda’s participation in peacekeeping operations especially in Sudan-- in Darfur is tremendous.”
Considered the world’s 6th largest peace-keeping troop provider, Rwanda has 3,200 troops deployed in Darfur and 254 others in Khartoum as well as over 70 staff officers and Military Observers serving under United Nations/ Africa Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently appointed Rwanda’s Lt. Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba as the UNAMID Force Commander, a development that Le Roy highlighted while driving his point home.
“Rwanda can be proud of this Force Commander – Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba, and of the behavior of your troops on the ground – their extreme professionalism and their work under very difficult conditions,” the French diplomat said.
“Each time I go to Sudan I visit them and I can see with my own eyes their professionalism, dedication, commitment, and discipline – you have Rwandans operating in all other peacekeeping operations and I can say the same for their participation.”
Rwanda has also participated in peacekeeping operations in Haiti and Liberia.
Le Roy underscored that the behavior of Rwandan forces showcases the country’s strength.
While reiterating his gratitude to government and President Paul Kagame “for this very important participation,” he noted that the UN would welcome more Rwandan police peacekeepers, to serve the different missions if it were possible.