At approximately 8:40a.m on Tuesday, a plane carrying 144 Rwanda National Police (RNP) officers left Kigali International Airport en route to Juba, where they are to serve under the auspices of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
The officers, who left aboard a RwandAir flight, constitute a Formed Police Unit (FPU) contingent of 160 under RWAFPU II-1, an additional force that joins RWAFPU II hybrid of 240 officers. There are also 29 other Rwandan officers working as ‘Police Advisors’ under UNMISS.
RWAFPU II-1, which includes 26 women officers, is headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police Bosco Rangira.
They were saluted off at the airport by the Commissioner for Training, Commissioner of Police Joseph Mugisha.
Prior to their deployment, the officers were on Sunday briefed by the Inspector General of Police Emmanuel K. Gasana, who challenged them to stay focused to their mission mandate with professionalism and maximum discipline.
“Maintaining the police doctrine, and national values, respecting and looking out for each other is part of our tradition that should define your daily operations during your one year tour of duty,” IGP Gasana told the officers.
Reaffirming Rwanda’s commitment to international peace, the Police chief urged them to uphold the country’s good reputation in peacekeeping.
Police Spokesperson ACP Theos Badege, addressing journalists at the airport, shortly after the departure of the contingent, said the officers were well trained and well-equipped to deal with the mission challenges and effectively execute their duties.
“The mandate of the FPU contingent will be to protect civilians from imminent threats, ensuring public order management, protection of UN key installations and personnel, and offering humanitarian assistance,” said ACP Badege.
This new FPU contingent brings the number of Rwandan police peacekeepers in all peacekeeping missions globally to about 1200 personnel.
The new contingent is the sixth that RNP maintains in peacekeeping missions, with three others in Central African Republic (CAR) and another in Haiti, each composed of 140 officers.