The United Nations has decorated 164 Rwandan police peacekeepers serving under the UN Mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) with medals of service excellence.
The awards ceremony was held on Sunday at their camp base in the capital Bangui and presided over by the UN secretary-general’s special representative to CAR, Parfait Onanga Anyanga.
The ceremony was also attended by MINUSCA police commissioner, Luis Miguel Carrilho, government officials and contingent commanders of other formed police units.
Among those decorated, 139 of them are under Rwanda Formed Police Unit (RWAFPU 1) and 25 Individual Police Officers (IPOs).
Onanga thanked the “exemplary discipline and professionalism” of the Rwandan Police officers.”
“The UN and the entire community in Penace (their area of operation) are grateful for your contribution toward restoring stability and peace in CAR,” Anyanga said.
Rwanda was the first country to deploy a contingent of Police officers in CAR, arriving two weeks before the blue berets formerly took over the peacekeeping mandate from the African Union.
Their mandate included conducting patrols, and protection of VIPs and key installations, among others.
Nearly 5,000 people were killed while thousands others fled their homes since December 2013, when fighting between Muslim and Christian militias erupted.