The success registered by Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) in peacekeeping operations is informed by the country’s sad history that makes the forces determined not to let it repeat itself elsewhere.
The remarks were made by Brig Gen Charles Karamba, the Chief of Staff RDF Air Force, during a meeting with a delegation from the US National Defence College at the RDF headquarters in Kimihurura, yesterday.
“When our forces go for peacekeeping missions, they have a responsibility to protect civilians and in doing this, they draw from their experience back home, the tragedy that befell Rwanda in the form of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, during which a UN peacekeeping force failed to protect civilians from the killers,” he said.
“We go in peacekeeping missions with a background of genocide; may be that is what informs our determination in protecting civilians but on top of that, we take (our contingents) through a lot of pre-deployment training exercises,” Karamba told the visitors.
The delegation comprises students, trainers and other staff members at the college. The team has been in the country since March 29 for their annual international tour, during which they visit a chosen country to assess their defence cooperation and conduct research.
Rwanda has peacekeepers in different countries across the world, including Central Africa Republic (CAR), South Sudan and Sudan, who have widely been commended for their exemplary service both in terms of operations and in forging relations with the communities where they are deployed.