The Inspector General of Police, Emmanuel K. Gasana, last week made a four-day visit to Mali where he met the Rwanda Police peacekeepers serving in the West African nation and commended them for their discipline and commitment to their mission mandate.
On the visit that started on March 23, the IGP was accompaigned by Amb. Jeanine Kambanda, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Jimmy Hodari, Commissioner for Peace Support Operations at Rwanda National Police, and Col. Vincent Nyakarundi, Rwanda’s Military Attaché to the Permanent Mission to the United Nations.
While briefing the Rwandan peacekeepers at their Formed Police Unit (FPU) base in Gao, about 1,100 kilometres North of the capital Bamako, IGP Gasana commended the peacekeepers for their exemplary work.
He urged them to uphold the country’s values and work closely with other peacekeepers to realize the mission mandate.
There are 140 RNP peacekeepers, 30 per cent of whom are female, serving under the United Nations Multi-dimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (Mnimusma).
“Master the art of operating in a diversified cultural environment and maintain the outreach spirit like conducting Umuganda (community work) in communities and other initiatives,” he said.
While in Gao, Gasana met and held discussions with various officials including the Governor of Gao, Oumar Baba Sidibe, the head of Minusma office in Gao, Francisco Osler of Argentina, among others.
Sidibe commended the professionalism portrayed by Rwandan peacekeepers in the conflict affected region.
The Rwandan delegation later held discussions with other top government and UN officials, including ministers Diop Abdoulaye of Foreign Affairs, Sada Samake of Internal Security, chairman of the Mali Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Security Karim Keita, the IGP of Mali, Hamidou Gogouna Kansaye, and Arnauld Akodjenou, the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General.
The officials commended the Rwandan peacekeepers’ role in the stabilisation of the northern region especially during the escorting and evacuation of prisoners of war rescued from the rebels and ensuring the recent peaceful elections.
“Rwanda experienced the worst period of genocide but the country managed to get out of the dark period and transformed itself. There is a lot we can learn from this transformation,” Samake said.
Rwanda’s Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mugisha, the Contingent Commander of the RNP peacekeepers in Mali was also awarded a UN medal for his exceptional leadership and services.