The United Nations on Thursday awarded 160 Rwandan Police peacekeepers serving under its mission in South Sudan with the ‘UN Service Medal of Honor.’
The medals are in recognition of their outstanding role in restoring security and peace in South Sudan.
The decorated officers, under Rwanda Formed Police Unit Two (RWAFPU-II), were deployed in April last year under the command of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Emmanuel Karasi.
A medal parade held at the RWAFPU-II base camp in the capital Juba, was presided over by UNMISS Chief of Staff, Paul Egunsola.
The colourful event was also attended by the UNMISS Force Commander, Lt Gen. Mushyo Kamanzi, as well as the Police Commissioner Unaisi Lutu Vuniwaqa, among any other high ranking officials.
In his speech, Egunsola saluted Rwandan police peacekeepers for their “hard work, discipline and professionalism” in supporting the UN Mission in South Sudan.
He thanked them for their “tremendous impact on peacekeeping activities.”
“We are happy to award you, on behalf of the UN, medals, and I would like to convey my sincere gratitude to the Government of Rwanda for its commitment to the UN missions globally,” the Chief of Staff said.
He added: “I commend your dedication and commitment in this regard and would like to acknowledge your operational activities that you have undertaken during your tour-of-duty, including public order management, supporting humanitarian activities, providing security to the VIPs, conducting patrols, and cordon and search operations.”
In his remarks, RWAFPU-II contingent commander, ACP Emmanuel Karasi acknowledged the support of various entities and the people and leaders of South Sudan in accomplishing their peacekeeping mandate.
“I would also like to appreciate the conducive environment created by UNMISS top leadership, UNPOL Police Commissioner, FPU coordination and the entire UN family for us to fulfill our assignments,” ACP Karasi said.
He added: “I also take this opportunity to applaud RWAFPU-II personnel here in front of you for their hard work, discipline and commitment that symbolised selfless contribution to international service.”
The decorated contingent undertook additional special tasks such as biometric registration, security and escort of primary and secondary school students from protection of civilian (POC) camps to capital Juba for national examinations and relocation of IDPs from POC 3 to Mangaten in Juba town, among others.
Rwanda maintains seven contingents in various UN peacekeeping missions, with three of them under UNMISS, including FPU1-IIII hybrid of 240 officers deployed to Malakal and a female-majority contingent under ACP Teddy Ruyenzi in Juba.