Rwandan peacekeepers in South Sudan share experience on women empowerment

Rwandan peacekeepers serving in South Sudan on Wednesday hosted a UN Police Women Network meeting that discussed issues faced by women in conflicts.

The meeting was hosted by the female-dominated Formed Police Unit Three (RWAFPU-3), serving under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)

The meeting which was held at RWAFPU-3 base camp in Juba was also attended by female officers from South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS).

According to Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Teddy Ruyenzi, RWAFPU-3 contingent commander, the meeting deliberated on issues affecting women police officers, protecting their female counterparts in war-torn countries and fighting crimes women face, among others.

She explained that Rwandan women peacekeepers also shared knowledge and skills with their South Sudanese colleagues to “improve their handling of cases of sexual and gender based violence, victims and other gender-related issues.”

“As police women, we are in a better position and understand how to talk to female victims," ACP Ruyenzi said.

The UNMISS Police Commissioner, Unaisi Lutu Vuniwaqa, who presided over the meeting, thanked them for coming together to advocate for women rights.

He called for stronger working relations between the women peacekeepers and the South Sudanese police.

Col. Laura Paul Dipi from SSNPS, also expressed commitment to further improve their service in contributing to peace and to restoration the rule of law.

Col. Dipi said the South Sudan female Police officers were privileged to benefit from their experienced female counterparts.

“Some of us have received the benefit to be trained and share experiences with police officers from countries such as Rwanda, such experiences help us to perfect in our duties especially those concerning women,” said Col Dipi.

Rwanda, she said, has achieved a lot in women promotion and inclusion in Police, and an example to embrace.

Rwanda maintains the largest number of female police officers in the United Nations and is the third largest troop contributing country.