DARFUR - Rwanda’s Colonel Emmanuel Ruvusha is among senior peacekeeping officers that have been serving under the African Mission in Sudan (AMIS) who were last week awarded medals and certificates for their contribution towards ending violence in Darfur. Col. Ruvusha, who has been serving as commander of AMIS sector North, was decorated by fellow Rwandan Maj. Gen. Karenzi Karake, who is currently the AMIS Deputy Force Commander.
Gen. Karake is also Joint Force Commander for the yet-to-be deployed UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
“Medals and certificates are awarded to people who have met the requirements of eligibility and having completed the necessary period of qualifying service as military members of African AMIS,” a source in Darfur said.
Ruvusha, expected to fly home soon, has been replaced Rwanda Defence Force’s Brig. Gen. Dennis Rutaha, who will head an expanded sector North under UNAMID.
Gen. Karake also decorated Brig Gen. Pierre Roques, a French general, who has been serving under AMIS as the vice chairman of the Cease Fire Commission (CFC). Ghana’s Col. George Partington who has been serving as AMIS Chief of Staff (CoS) was also decorated by Gen. Karenzi, among others.
AMIS started its deployment in the troubled Sudanese Darfur region in August 2004 and is currently phasing out as a more equipped hybrid AU-UN force is due to be deployed come next month. Rwanda has already dedicated at least 3500 soldiers for UNAMID, which would be composed of 26,000 peacekeepers.
However, the required figure and equipment for the new force, to be headed by Nigeria’s Martin Luther Agwal, is yet to be raised a situation that has fuelled fears for more atrocities in the region where at least 200,000 people have died and another 2.5 million displaced.
UNAMID will officially take up the job from UNAMIS at exactly 12:00 on Dec 31.