Rwandan police peacekeepers serving in various UN missions around the world, yesterday, joined the rest of the Rwandan community in Diaspora to vote for their parliamentary representatives.
Police peacekeepers are deployed to Central African Republic (CAR), Sudan, Haiti, South Sudan, and Abyei where they voted from.
In CAR, Assistant Commissioner of Police Sam Rumanzi, the Commander of the Rwandan Formed Police Unit (RWAFPU1), said that; “we turned up with enthusiasm in an early voting exercise.”
There are 450 Rwandan police peacekeepers serving under the United Nations Multidimensional Stabilisation Mission in CAR (MINUSCA), with 420 organised in three contingents; two FPUs and a Protection Support Unit (PSU), each composed of 140 officers.
Others serve as Individual Police Officers (IPOs) who act as advisors and mentors.
“We are here for a peacekeeping duty; it means that we had to be at polling centres very early to exercise our civic rights, but also ensure that our peacekeeping duties are not affected in anyway,” ACP Rumanzi said.
Polling centres in CAR included Combattant (RwandaFPU1), Mamica (PSU), polling centre C in Kaga bandoro and other centres in Rwanda military peacekeepers’ based camps.
In South Sudan, ACP Emmanuel Karasi, the FPU contingent commander, also said that 587 police officers in FPU1, FPU2, FPU3 and 27 IPOs and one professional officer cast their vote.
The polling centres also served some civilian members of the Rwandan community.
“Everything went smooth. We are now back to our sites to continue our peacekeeping responsibilities,” Karasi said.
Rwanda has about 1,200 peacekeepers serving police officers in all mission.