The intermission retreat for three United Nations missions of Darfur (UNAMID), South Sudan (UNMISS) and Abyei (UNISFA) opened on Monday at Rwanda National Police (RNP) General Headquarters in Kacyiru with senior UN officials deliberating on various issues on peace and security in the three neighbouring missions.
Participants in the three-day retreat include Police Commissioners, and senior police advisors, Chiefs of Staff, Chiefs of Operations and all essential staff members from the three missions.
While officially opening the retreat, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana commended the sacrifice, dedication and commitment of peacekeepers and their perseverance to bring about peace in the world.
“Peace is the most important single factor in human life. Rwanda has had her own share of turmoil; we had a dooms day of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi,” IGP Gasana said.
“We lost our people… over one million. It required a visionary leader to move from the shocks of Genocide to recovery, and to the current state of transformation and stability,” he added.
He hastened to add that 23 years down the road, Rwanda has picked from almost nothing taking very big social economic and political strides towards sustainable development.
“Today, one of the most cherished preoccupations is to contribute in bringing peace, where it is needed most in the world,” he said.
He called for harmonisation of generic concepts, approaches, training and doctrines, and strategic actions that enhances the overall operational capabilities in dealing with contemporary crime threats.
The Police Chief further highlighted new phenomenon of violent extremism, public order management, cybercrimes, gender based violence and armed groups as one of the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies and even in UN fields of command, which requires reviewing building of capacities to conform to reality.
The UN Deputy Police Advisor, Shaowen Yang said that their discussions will mainly focus on the strategic and operational issues and challenges faced by the three missions.
“We are focusing on intermission cooperation between the three missions regarding information sharing, strategic and operational strategies, approaches and exchange of best practices and lessons learnt,” Yang said.
He added they are also looking at some strategic and policy issues regarding reform and new initiatives in UN peacekeeping operations, mission settings, implementation of mandates, protection of civilians and UN staff.
Other areas include policing strategies, and streamlining it in the whole political process in maintaining peace and order, and to facilitate the political solution to conflicts in mission areas, he added.
He thanked Police for the strong support and hosting the retreat.
“We are also looking forward to work with Rwanda National Police to share their experiences and best practices, and look forward to closer cooperation and further future contribution from RNP to UN peacekeeping operations,”
Rwanda maintains close to 1200 police peacekeepers in five UN missions, with at least 484 of them deployed in South Sudan, Darfur and Abyei.
The Police Commissioner for UNMISS; Commissioner of Police (CP) Bruce Munyambo is also Rwandan.