The African Union (AU) yesterday awarded medals to 538 Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) peacekeepers in recognition of their contribution towards peace and security in Sudan’s conflict prone region of Darfur.
Those awarded are members of the 67th Infantry Battalion which served in the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) from October 2005 until April 2006.
On behalf of the AU, the High Representative of the body in charge of the operationalisation of the African Standby Force, Gen. Sekouba Konate, decorated the officers.
“You have been given what you deserve because you worked hard for it, its love for Africa and determination to maintain peace,” Konate said.
He added that the award comes as a respect to the commitment and determination by the Rwandan government in its continued support towards stability, security and development.
In his speech, the RDF Chief of Defence Staff, Lt. Gen. Charles Kayonga, said government remains committed to playing a leading role in supporting and contributing to stability.
“In the United Nations Africa Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), we deployed over 3,200 peacekeepers and the government is also reviewing a request by the UN to deploy 850 peacekeepers in Southern Sudan,” Kayonga said.
Rwanda is among the countries the UN asked to contribute towards bringing peace in Southern Sudan under the United Nations Mission in Southern Sudan (UNMISS).
One of the decorated officers, Col. Sam Baguma, formerly a commander of the peacekeeping force, said he is inspired by the award..
“It is inspiring that the time we spent in the mission is considered and recognized,” he said.