The United Nations has decorated eighteen Rwanda National Police (RNP) officers serving in Haiti with service medals for their outstanding peacekeeping role in the Caribbean nation.
The officers serving as Individual Police Officers (IPOs) under the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) were decorated over the weekend in a ceremony held in Port Au Prince.
The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) in Haiti, Moustafa Benlamlin, who presided over the medal parade, expressed gratitude for the professionalism and discipline exhibited by the decorated officers.
The medal ceremony was also attended by MINUSTAH Police Commissioner, Brig. Gen Georges-Pierre Monchotte and the chairperson of Rwanda Diaspora in Haiti, Gaston Mpatswe, who doubles as the resident representative of IMF in the same country.
“You served with dignity, dedication and hard work and it is a pride to the UN,” Benlamlin said.
He also thanked the officers for their dedicated services to local security organs and going beyond their mandate to support local communities.
In his address, the Minustah Police Commissioner, Brig Gen Monchotte, said: “The Rwandan police have taken part in several peacekeeping missions around the world. They have been present at MINUSTAH since 2010...you have been dynamic as prominent players in all facets of Haiti Nation Police development.”
He emphasised that "Rwanda is a very important partner of the United Nations in the context of peacekeeping" which he added that this fact is defined by the presence of over 6000 Rwandan peacekeepers in all missions currently, who also include military and prisons.
MINUSTAH has 178 Rwandan police officers, including 160 under Formed Police Unit (FPU).
“I would like to remind you, that like your predecessors, you have distinguished yourself by your significant participation in the implementation of the development plan of Haiti National Police. Thus, through your continued commitment, you have contributed to the maintenance of a secure and stable environment, conducive to the revival of the country,” said Gen Monchotte.
Speaking on behalf of the decorated officers, Supt. Eric Murenzi expressed Rwanda’s commitment towards contributing to peace building, and the values that define each and every Rwandan peacekeeper, which guides them to success.
He thanked the MINUSTAH leadership for the support throughout their one year mission mandate, which he said helped them to execute their peacekeeping duties effectively and maintained the UN standards.