KIGALI - Rwanda’s efforts to restore peace in the conflict-torn region of Darfur have been highly commended by Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the Joint Special Representative of the African Union – United Nations Peace keeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
During the official opening ceremony of a one-day retreat that brought together special peace envoys to Sudan, Gambari noted that Rwanda is playing a very significant role as regards peace building in Africa.
“This country has the second largest group of forces in Darfur and the first commander, Lt. Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba is also a Rwandan General,” he said.
“We therefore want to recognize these efforts as we believe that this country also has some lessons to share as
regards the tremendous reconciliation progress that we see even after an awful conflict”.
In relation to the retreat, Gambari noted that this is the first of its kind that not only includes all the special envoys from Sudan, but also includes the permanent members of the Security Council and those from the European Union.
“We are meeting here to exchange views on what is happening in Sudan, particularly in the Darfur region.
Our hope is that at the end of the day we should be at a common understanding on where and how we will draw a path to keep and consolidate peace in Darfur”.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo, noted that the retreat serves as a platform through which the officials will discuss ways of giving the peace progress a shot in the arm ahead of the upcoming elections in Darfur.
“This high level meet is taking place in Kigali for symbolic reasons which include the determination of the Rwandese people and more so, the defence forces, to play a role in peace keeping,” she said.
UNAMID spokesperson, Noureddine Mezni, said that Rwanda has more than 3200 troops in the war-torn Darfur.
He highlighted the significance of this meeting in relation to creating synergy in the work of all those involved in Darfur and Sudan adding that this results into unified, coordinated and coherent strategies.
“Today we also focus on how to bring the peace dividends to facilitate the voluntary return of Darfur refugees and the return of displaced persons to their homes. In this regard, we will promote recovery and development initiatives”.