A contingent of 170 Rwanda National Police (RNP) officers will today depart for a one-year peacekeeping mission under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
The maiden contingent, dubbed RWAFPU1-UNMISS, includes 37 females.
It is headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Rogers Rutikanga.
The contigent will be based in Malakal County, Upper Nile State, in the northeast of South Sudan that borders Sudan and Ethiopia.
They join 28 other RNP officers deployed as individual police officers in Africa’s youngest country.
During a pre-deployment briefing at the Police headquarters in Kigali on Tuesday, IGP Emmanuel K. Gasana challenged the officers to uphold professional values and focus on executing the mandate of their mission effectively.
“You are going for an international peace support mission, meaning you will be working alongside other peacekeepers. Ensure you work within the mission boundaries and area of responsibility, and be good ambassador of the country,” he said.
Gasana highlighted Rwanda’s contribution toward making the world a safer place for all.
“After what we experienced in 1994, Rwanda decided that we should not abandon anyone in trouble,” said Gasana.
“We are sending you on this mission because your country has trusted you; we believe in your ability to perform.”
He also pointed out that later in the month, Rwanda will deploy two other Formed Police Unit (FPU) contingents to Central African Republic (CAR).
This will bring the number of Rwanda’s FPU deployments to five, including one currently deployed in CAR and another one in Haiti.
Malakal lies approximately 650 kilometres north of South Sudan capital, Juba. The city, that formerly served as a garrison town for the Khartoum-based Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) during the Second Sudanese Civil War, has been plunged into a fresh political crisis involving warring parties in South Sudan.
The role of FPU includes humanitarian assistance, crowd control, escorting VIPs and protection of civilians.
Rwanda is the fifth largest UN troop and Police contributing country.