KIGALI - Lt. Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba is this Thursday, expected to make his first trip to the war torn Sudanese region of Darfur as part of a familiarisation tour, before his begins his official duties on September 1.
Nyamvumba, was recently appointed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as overall Force Commander for the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
He returned to Kigali on Thursday last week after a UN briefing in New York in preparation for his new assignments.
“He will be going for familiarisation and to prepare for taking over his new duties as the force commander,” said the Military spokesman, Maj. Jill Rutaremara.
Nyamvumba will replace Gen. Martin Luther Agwai of Nigeria who has been at the helm of the combined AU-UN hybrid force. Agwai was deputised by Rwanda’s Maj. Gen Emmanuel Karenzi Karake.
Nyamvumba takes with him extensive leadership and operational experience, as he has previously held various senior command positions in the Rwandan military.
Before his appointment to UNAMID, Nyamvumba served as the Chief of Logistics of the Rwanda Defence Forces, a job he doubled with being president of the Military High Court.
He was the Commander of an infantry battalion, mechanized infantry regiment and infantry brigade in 1995, 1996 and 1997, respectively.
Between 1998 and 1999, he served as Chief of Operations, Plans and Training. In 1999, he assumed the position of Joint Task Force Commander until his appointment as Commandant of the Military Academy in 2003.
He has also served as the Commandant of the Force Preparation Centre between 2004 and 2007. In 2007, General Nyamvumba was appointed to serve as President of the Military High Court.
Born on 11 June 1967, General Nyamvumba is a graduate of the Nigerian Defence Academy.
Nyamvumba’s ascendance to the UNAMID top military position makes him the first Rwandan to head this peacekeeping force
Previously, Generals Karenzi and Jean Bosco Kazura served as Joint Deputy Force Commanders. Currently, Rwanda has close to 3,000 forces in Darfur.
The mandate of UNAMID is to support early and effective implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement, prevent the disruption of its implementation and armed attacks, and protect civilians, without prejudice to the responsibility of the Government of Sudan.
Currently, over 300,000 people are thought to have died and at least two and a half million displaced from their homes in war torn Darfur region of Sudan.