Civilians in the Central African Republic (CAR) say they feel safer in the company of Rwandan peacekeepers serving under the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA). RwaMechBatt1 has intensified patrols in areas around Bangui in protection of civilians.
The revelation comes after Rwandan troops this week introduced Umuganda, or community work, in the areas where they are deployed as well as conducted security meetings and confidence building patrols with locals in the 5th Arrondissement, in the Miskine neighborhood, one of the sectarian conflict hit area of the capital, Bangui.
“With Rwandans, we feel more secure,” a Bangui resident reportedly told an Al Jazeera journalist after a meeting Thursday evening.
According to the Ministry of Defense, the meetings and patrols are part of improved security measures taken to sensitize the population on maintaining security. The presence of peacekeepers is deterring mob attacks and instilling confidence among locals.
The local population reportedly assured peacekeepers of support in improving security in the area.
Early this month, Rwandan peacekeepers were compelled to use force to disperse an armed mob that attacked a Muslim community and killed two people, in Bangui
South Sudan peace
Meanwhile, on Thursday, the RDF concluded the rotation operation for 850 troops deployed under the United Nations Mission in South Soudan (UNMISS).
Army Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Frank Mushyo Kamanzi who received the returning troops at the airport, congratulated them on a “job well done” and urged them to maintain a high level of discipline and order as they wait for new deployment in the country.
RDF and defense spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Joseph Nzabamwita, told reporters that: “When we deploy in foreign missions, we go with the highest level of professionalism, impartiality and neutrality.”
“We take with us Rwanda’s message, Rwandan values of solving problems, helping people and good leadership. We take with us Rwanda's experience in governance and home grown solutions in the Peacekeeping Missions.”
Wherever Rwandan peacekeepers operate, in addition to their routine security duties, they build schools, rehabilitate health facilities, and provide much needed medical care to locals.