Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) on Sunday started the deployment of the main body of a Mechanised Infantry Battle Group to United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MUNUSCA).
The first group of 238 troops of the Mechanised Infantry Battalion departed from Kigali International Airport at around 10a.m local time, according to a statement from the Ministry of Defence.
“The highly versatile and mobile Mechanised Infantry Unit, whose equipment were deployed with an advance party early April 2018, will operate in the whole MINUSCA Area of Operations (AOR),” reads part of the statement.
Before their departure, the peacekeepers were briefed by the RDF Army Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Jacques Musemakweli, who urged them to remain vigilant and focused on their mission as well as maintain a very high level of discipline.
“We expect a lot from you, so please demonstrate a high level of discipline in any of your actions, think very fast and act with rationale,” Musemakweli told the troops.
Lt Col Charles Rutayisire, the Commanding Officer of this newly deployed Mechanised Infantry Battle Group, told the media that the troops under his command are a combined arms grouping from various RDF units and formations that include Special Force, Mechanised Infantry, Air Force and Infantry Force.
He also disclosed that the Battle Group will have the capabilities of using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for reconnaissance.
“I am quite optimistic that we will be effective in fulfilling our mission taking into consideration the equipment, personnel and support we got from our leadership,” Rutayisire said.
This 540-strong mechanised infantry Battle Group that deploys on UN request is the third RDF unit to be deployed under MINUSCA after an Infantry Battalion and a Military Level 2 Hospital with a current total RDF deployment of 1,200 military personnel in CAR.