KIGALI - A contingent of 160 police officers under the Formed Police Unit (FPU) will soon be departing for Haiti were they will be stationed for one year under the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
Among the group’s main duties will be providing security in the forthcoming presidential elections slated for November.
The contingent is led by Chief Supt. Egide Ruzigamanzi.
Addressing the contingent, the Minister of Internal Security, Musa Fazil Harelimana, appealed to them to portray a good image of their country while on the mission.
An advance party of 40 officers left yesterday while the remaining 120 are also scheduled to go in the course of this week.
They will also assist in escort duties; provide security to VIPs and provide humanitarian assistance and security of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
“Rwanda expects you to demonstrate her true image and that of Rwandans,” Harelimana said, while addressing the force at its headquarters in Kacyiru.
He observed that Rwanda’s image was previously administered by people who did not give her value.
“But since the government of national unity took over, they have restored the true image of Rwanda and this image should be protected everywhere you go be it inside or outside the country.”
He challenged them to raise the national flag high. “The national flag on your left sleeve is not a decoration but you should always accord it respect and have it at heart.”
The minister urged them to always follow the laws that govern them both in the country and on mission, to maintain discipline, respect their superiors and be committed in their duties.
Harelimana also appealed to the officers to partner with the Haitian community, help them as the mission stipulates and also learn from them.
It is the first time such a big police contingent has been sent on the same peacekeeping mission since 2005 when Rwanda started sending police officers on missions.
Also present was the Commissioner General of Police, Emmanuel Gasana and other senior officers.