A total of 240 Rwandan Police peacekeepers serving as Formed Police Unit (FPU) under the United Nations mission in South Sudan (UNIMSS) were on Monday, decorated with service medals for their outstanding peacekeeping role in the world’s youngest nation.
Among the decorated were 47 female officers.
The officers were particularly recognised for their peacekeeping role in Malakal region of the upper Nile, where they are deployed.
The medal parade was presided over by the UNMISS Police Commissioner, Commissioner of Police (CP) Bruce Munyambo, who represented the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG).
While delivering the SRSG message, the Police Commissioner commended the RNP peacekeepers for their professionalism and discipline displayed during their one year mission mandate.
“This is in recognition of your great services in ensuring peace and stability for the people of South Sudan. You served with dignity, dedication and hard work and it is a pride to the United Nations,” CP Munyambo said.
The message by the SRSG further reads: “We have been working together for almost one year and as per observation, and without hesitation, you were professionally committed to contributing to the peace agreement for the warring parties in South Sudan to end almost three-year conflicts that cause deaths and displacement of South Sudanese countrywide. Your contribution is highly appreciated and commended to be reliable.”
The special representative, in the message which was read to the decorated officers, further urged the peacekeeping forces to work together to make South Sudan a “peaceful nation with sustainable development.”
The acting Upper Nile head of field office (HOFO) in Malakal, Hastings Amurani said that Rwanda FPU’s presence in Malakal “created enormous value addition to UNMISS Malakal’s protection capacity under the command of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Rogers Rutikanga.”
ACP Rutikanga is the contingent commander of RNP peacekeepers in South Sudan.
“It is therefore no surprise to us that RNP peacekeepers have been valiant ambassadors of the Republic of Rwanda and an excellent flag bear of the United Nations…Their discipline to the public was always displayed since their arrival almost one year ago,” Amurani said.
“Your courage and patience have been sorely tested in many instances which often put your lives at high risk. Thankfully, you have not been deterred,” added Amurani.
He thanked them for engaging the communities in their approaches.
“This has enabled us to cultivate and nurture good relations and cooperation leading to mutual respect and understanding between them and those communities in the civilians’ site,” he said.
The contingent Commander ACP Rutikanga thanked the medal recipients for the discipline, cooperation and team spirit they displayed.