The Rwanda National Police has grown faster than anybody would expect given the historical background of the country as a whole.
One of the facts demonstrating this is the ability of the force to effectively Police the inside of Rwanda as well as generously lend to other needy nations.
10 years down the road, the force has already sent hundreds of its officers out of the country on international Peacekeeping missions.
The major motivating factor in sending peace keepers is not just that Rwanda can afford to Police its interior as well as police foreign territory. Rwanda Police population ration still has to climb from1:1,600 to 1: 500 to reach the targeted levels any way.
It is the country’s long history of suffering that has been impetus in cultivating a sense of generosity to those whose internal security needs are more immediate.
The UN Charter stipulates that to assist in maintaining peace and security around the world, all member states of the UN should make available to the Security Council necessary armed forces and facilities.
Since 1948, close to 130 nations have contributed military and civilian police personnel to peace operations.
Each peacekeeping operation has a specific set of mandated tasks, but all share certain common aims - to alleviate human suffering, and create conditions and build institutions for self-sustaining peace.
If Rwanda has blamed other countries for failure to intervene during the 1994 genocide, it is then clear that Rwanda not only feels the weight of those in need but also understands the mandatory but mostly moral obligation to walk the talk.
In this context, Rwanda Police has sent Police peace support contingents to Sudan (South and in Darfur), Sierra Leone, Chad, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Haiti.
Since the beginning of peace support deployments in 2005, a total number of 388 Police peacekeepers has been deployed in six different nations. Currently; 150 females Police officers are in waiting to be deployed in the troubled region of DARFUR.
Peace support deployments are done on rotational bases not only to allow the spread of experience and participation to different Police Officers, but also to provide rest to those who have already been in service within the Peace support operations.
Indeed, it is common knowledge that such deployments are stressfully demanding and are not without risk. This, plus other considerations, justifies their rotational nature.
Rwanda Police Force has earned a name in the UN and other circles ostensibly for its very well known discipline and commitment to service. Its services may therefore be more and more on demand in the future.
This is partly why currently, RNP is focusing on the development of a Formed Police Unit (FPU) which will increase the Force’s participation in the Peace Support Operations.
In that context, close to 500 officers sat for peacekeeping assessment exams (SAT) this year and passed. Should the need for their service arise, they will be readily available.
The RNP says it will also continue looking for managerial and administrative posts within the UN peace keeping missions.
Indeed, there is enough reason for the Rwanda Police to walk with their heads high but without losing sight that they form a crucial part of the overall ambitious Rwanda’s vision 2020.
Who says the Rwanda Police can afford any lower standards any way? The logic is that “the speed of the cart is determined by the horse and the horse is truly on the move”