Police get peacekeepers’ training equipment

Rwanda National Police (RNP) on Wednesday received assorted equipment from the United States through its embassy in Rwanda, to support the police peacekeeping training programmes.

The equipment, received by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) in charge of Administration and Personnel, Juvenal Marizamunda, include a mobile clinic, an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) and two pick-up vehicles.

Others include assorted anti-riot equipment, an advanced generator and water treatment plant.

The equipment will support the Police Training School (PTS) Gishari training programmes specifically in peace support operations.

The donation is in line with the formal agreement signed in 2015 to support, partly, the police in pre-deployment training capacities.

It is part of the US “Africa Peacekeeping Rapid Response Partnership” initiative dubbed ‘International Police Peacekeeping Operations Support (IPPOS), a multi-phase capacity programme meant to build the capacity of police officers.

It covers three domains; pre-training assessment, pre-deployment training and post-training evaluation in mission.

DIGP Marizamunda thanked the US for the “broad support” but challenged PTS leadership on proper management of the equipment to serve the purpose.

“Rwanda and Rwanda National Police in particular remains committed to international peace and the Peace Support Operation pre-deployment training centre was established to ensure our readiness any time we are called to serve,” Marizamunda said.

The US ambassador to Rwanda Peter H. Vrooman, who handed over the equipment, commended Rwanda’s contribution in bringing about international peace.

He noted that “Rwanda has a strong background in peacekeeping operations” and that the US trainers also gain a lot in terms of best practices in peace support operations.

Vrooman also lauded the role of PTS as a Regional Centre of Excellence in building peacekeeping capacities of other law enforcement agencies in the region and beyond, and pledged continued partnership in skills development.

Under this partnership, about seven contingents; five Formed Police Units (FPUs) and two Protection Support Units (PSUs) have since been trained and deployed in Central African Republic (CAR) on rotational basis.

Two FPU Training of Trainers (ToT) programmes, VIP ToT course as well as FPU commanders’ course were also conducted.

They also, partly, supported RNP’s deployments in Haiti and CAR in terms of logistics.

RNP maintains over 1200 Police peacekeepers in five missions; CAR, Haiti, South Sudan, Darfur and Abyei. They include seven FPU  contingents; three deployed in CAR, three in South Sudan and one in Haiti.

The UN ranks Rwanda as the second contributing country in peacekeeping missions after Ethiopia.