A Formed Police Unit (FPU) contingent of 140 officers yesterday left for a one-year peacekeeping duty under the United Nations Multi-dimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
The contingent, led by Assistant Commissioner of Police Elias Mwesigye, as its commander, replaced the same number under ACP Gilbert Gumira, which returned home last evening after a successful tour of duty.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana, speaking during a pre-deployment briefing at the Rwanda National Police (RNP) Headquarters in Kacyiru, told the contingent that, “Rwanda’s image and prestige in CAR will be determined by your character, discipline and execution of your mandate.”
While emphasising the need to stay focused, the Police chief noted that contributing towards ensuring international peace is among Rwanda’s policies
Team work with other peacekeepers, he noted, is an essential factor that should as well continue to define the Rwandan contingents.
“Each one of you has a role to play bearing in mind that a mistake by an individual can taint the image of the whole contingent, the institution and the nation,” IGP Gasana said.
He urged them to be a value addition to safety, security and peace building in CAR, maintain their profession conduct and define their work effective and efficiently to carry on from where their predecessors left off.
Meanwhile, ACP Gumira thanked RNP and the government in general for the support that enabled them to successfully and professionally stay on top of their peacekeeping duties.
His contingent is among the 448 Rwandan police officers in CAR, who were decorated late last month with UN service medals for upholding by the UN core values; respect of diversity, integrity and professionalism.
ACP Gumira went on to commend the men and women under his command for the “team spirit, discipline and commitment” which made their peacekeeping operations and execution of their mandate, easier.
The contingent that returned home was instrumental in the protection of internal displaced persons, provided security during the Pope’s visit to the country, and during CAR elections, and ensuring free movement of people, especially in troubled districts of 3, 4, 5 and 8 in the capital Bangui.
There are three contingents – two FPUs and a special Protection Support Unit (PSU) – in CAR, each composed of 140 police officers.
Rwanda maintains about 1000 police peacekeepers in five UN missions, with about 820 of them organised in four FPU contingents and a PSU, while others act as Individual Police Officers, whose mandate include acting as mentors, and advisers.