A contingent of 160 police officers under the Rwanda Formed Police Unit, yesterday, returned home after accomplishing their one-year tour of duty under the United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.
Headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police Emmanuel Karasi, the contingent arrived at Kigali International Airport round 11am.
They were received by CP John Bosco Kabera, the Commissioner for Public Relations and Media, and Rwanda National Police Spokesperson.
Kabera thanked the contingent for selfless and brave service, professionalism and being good ambassadors of Rwanda.
In an interview with the press Karasi highlighted their mandate in South Sudan, saying that; “We were responsible for ensuring security, especially the security of refugees and carrying out patrol in the city of Juba.”
“We are happy because when you come back to your country having left behind good work nothing can stop you from being.”
They were replaced by another contingent, which departed yesterday in the morning for a one year peacekeeping mission.
The contingent that departed yesterday is composed of 160 police officers, and led by Assistant Commissioner of Police Claude Tembo which has the mandate of protecting civilians, UN staff, security of key installations and humanitarian assistance.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) in charge of Operations, Felix Namuhoranye, during the pre-deployment briefing, urged them to be the “hope and safety of those under your protection.”
“You are going to South Sudan to work with other Police and military peacekeepers… exhibit the teamwork spirit, and be the hope for the civilians in their communities and in internally displaced camps; your presence should make them feel safe,” DIGP Namuhoranye said.
“Your one year mandate should be incident-free like other contingents that have saved in UN missions before you. It’s a duty you have been trained and prepared to take, which requires maximum discipline, professionalism, respect for superiors and cultural diversity,” he added.
DIGP Felix Namuhoranye briefs the officers prior to their deployment to South Sudan.
He urged to them to be neutral, be in the right place at the right time, respect chain of command, uniformity and to plan all possible scenarios ahead to avoid any errors that might result into “grave incidences.”
“What you are deployed to do is in the interest of the country, a duty that requires putting into action what you were trained to do with focus, determination and resilience. The least you can do is to keep the name of RNP and Rwanda in general, where it is,” the Deputy Police Chief said.
Rwanda has more than 1000 police peacekeepers deployed in UN missions in Sudan, Haiti, South Sudan, and Central Africa Republic which makes Rwanda a second largest police peacekeeping contributing country.