Close to 200 Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) troops from the 49th battalion will be airlifted to Darfur commencing the routine rotation exercise of Rwandan peacekeepers to the conflict-torn Sudanese region.
Army spokesperson Maj. Jill Rutaremara, said yesterday that all the four battalions currently in Darfur will be replaced by December 23rd.
Rwanda’s has four battalions deployed under the United Nations- African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
“There will be a new rotation of Darfur troops, starting at 2:15 am in the morning tomorrow (Saturday) – the UN will airlift the first soldiers of the 49th battalion which is under Col. Callixte Kanimba to replace the 9th battalion which is at sector west in Zalinge under Lt. Col. Tom Mpaka,” Rutaremara said.
Another 200 soldiers from the 9th battalion will return home with the first rotation scheduled to end on Nov. 5th.
RDF forces have been deployed in Darfur since 2004.
UNAMIS currently has Rwanda’s Lt. Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba as the overall Force Commander. It is the sixth world troop contributing country to peacekeeping missions.