DARFUR - The United Nations Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has conferred medals on 800 Rwandan peacekeepers based in the Sudanese troubled region of Darfur.
The peacekeepers, belonging to Rwandan Battalion-18, were awarded for their outstanding role in the search for peace in the vast war-torn western Sudanese region.
On April 29, another Rwandan contingent referred to as Rwanbatt 19 (73 Infantry BN), had also been awarded the same medals in recognition of its commitment to the peacekeeping activities.
According to a report issued Monday on the latest medal awarding ceremony held at the Zalingei camp, in Darfur, Lt. Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba, the UNAMID Force Commander, noted that the contributions exhibited by Battalion-18 in building a cordial relationship with the local community and securing its area of responsibility are commendable.
“Your work has earned the gratitude of the African Union and the United Nations and your country; and the appreciation of the people of Darfur, who are the main beneficiaries of the work you do,” Nyamvumba is partly quoted in the report.
“It is in that regard that the UNAMID medal is being awarded to all of you today. I see your unconditional commitment to good functioning of our mission and your generosity towards the people of Darfur; I feel deeply moved and delighted by your efforts, and that is rewarding enough for all of us.”
The Force Commander reminded the troops that UNAMID aims at serving the cause of peace, alleviating the suffering Darfurians as well as assisting them recover from conflict. He encouraged the battalion to re-double their efforts as the work of restoring lasting peace in Darfur is yet to be achieved.
Rwandan units, the Force Commander noted, continue to play a pivotal role in executing UNAMID’s mandate and in assisting to bring hope to Darfur. He urged the unit to continue the search for peace with the same zeal and enthusiasm.
Col. Callixte Kanimba, the Battalion-18 Commander, expressed appreciation to Rwanda, the UN, AU and UNAMID officials for the opportunity to contribute in the search for peace in Darfur.
“The joy of every professional is often derived from services like this, and for us, we deem it a great pleasure to serve here in Darfur with some of the finest people in the world,” he said.
Col. Kanimba’s unit of 51 officers and 749 soldiers arrived in Zalingei on November 1 last year and is scheduled for rotation in August.