Rwanda National Police (RNP) on Monday rotated its Formed Police Unit (FPU) hybrid serving under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
The deployed contingent (FPU1-IIII) of 240 officers under the command of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Paul Gatambira, which left in the wee hours aboard the national carrier—RwandAir—replaced the same number (FPU1-III) commanded by ACP Charles Butera, who arrived home later that morning.
Commissioner of Police (CP) Bruce Munyambo, the Commissioner for Community Policing in RNP oversaw the departure and arrival of the contingents.
The hybrid force based in Malakal is one of the three Rwanda FPU contingents deployed in South Sudan.
During the pre-deployment briefing, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) in charge of Operations, Felix Namuhoranye reminded the deployed officers that “you are going for the tour-of-duty; it’s not a luxurious mission.”
“What you have learnt throughout your policing careers and specialized training in peacekeeping focused only on professionalism. This goes with discipline, respect for diversity, team work, alertness, effective execution of orders and being where you are supposed to be in the right time,” Namuhoranye said.
Such missions, he observed, are at times challenging, which requires extra work and resilience adding that their actions should define the spirit of nationalism.
“If one section goes contrary to the set standards the image of the whole contingent, RNP and your country in general is tainted. So, in your conduct as an individual or section, be as professional as you can be. The least you can do is to hold the Rwandan flag where it is today,” the Deputy Police Chief said.
Butera thanked the officers under his command for the discipline and resilience throughout their one year mandate.
“Being away from your family for the whole year is not simple, especially when you are in a challenging environment. I want to thank them because this didn’t tilt them from accomplishing what they were sent to do. No one was hurt and each one of them has come back with a medal for service excellence,” he said.
“We worked well with the people of Malakal, both in security related matters and community development activities including planting trees through Umuganda. Their cooperation and support also facilitated us in our peacekeeping duties and ensuring their safety in particular,” Butera said.
The contingent deployed in Malakal is charged with protection of civilians and their property especially in internally displaced camps, creating conducive conditions for the delivery of humanitarian assistance, monitoring and investigating human rights violations, and supporting the implementation of the peace process agreement, among others.