A total of 200 troops of the Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) yesterday returned in the country after a one-year peacekeeping stint under the AU-UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
The troops who were part of the 800-strong 9th Battalion were based in Sector West (Zalinge) and they were received by the RDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen Charles Kayonga.
Kayonga hailed the soldiers for their dedicated service and commitment to restore peace in one of the most troubled areas in the world today.
“We commend you for a job well done and we believe that the experience you gained during the mission will be applied positively to benefit the RDF,” Kayonga told the army officers.
The group which left in October 2008 was led by Lt. Col Tom Mpaka and was mainly in charge of guarding peacekeeping equipment.
“We are extremely happy to be back home. We basically didn’t experience any difficulties during the mission. Our work was to protect peacekeeping equipment and we never encountered any of those insurgent groups,’ a seemingly excited Mpaka told journalists.
The return of the troops is part of the ongoing rotation process of the entire 4 battalions deployed in Sudan and the exercise is expected to end on November 23.
Rwanda has some 3,200 troops serving under the UNAMID Peacekeeping mission alongside other countries including Nigeria, South Africa and the Gambia.
The RDF troops left a good legacy among the population for the introduction and involvement in the home-grown Umuganda communal work in the several areas and for their high discipline.