The Rwanda National Police (RNP) Protection Support Unit (PSU) currently on a peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic (CAR) has been assigned to take charge of the security detail of the newly appointed prime minister, Simplice Sarandji.
The PSU, comprising 140 police officers headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Benoit Kayijuka, is the first of its kind RNP has deployed in any international peacekeeping mission.
The force was deployed in October last year under the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in CAR (MINUSCA), with a mandate to provide security to the VIPs and protection of key installations, among others.
“We have been tasked to ensure full protection of the newly nominated premier. The new duties will focus on close protection, escorting duties and static guard at the premier minister’s residence,” ACP Gilbert R. Gumira, the commander of RNP peacekeepers in CAR, said.
“This is a new assignment alongside other duties of providing security to other high profile officials, including government and UN staff,” he added.
Sarandji was the campaign manager of the new CAR president, Faustin Archange Touadera, and served as his director of cabinet during former president Francois Bozize’s regime, when Touadera was also prime minister.
The new assignment comes after PSU successfully protected president Touadera during campaigns, a role that has since been assumed by the Rwandan military peacekeepers.
Rwanda maintains a total of 450 police peacekeepers in CAR, including two Formed Police Units (FPUs) composed of 140 officers each, and 30 Individual Police Officers (IPOs).