A contingent of 150 Rwanda National Police officers on October 8 departed for one-year peacekeeping operations under the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
The contingent under Rwanda Formed Police Unit two (RWAFPU II) headed by Chief Superintendent of Police Reverien Rugwizangoga and includes 16 females. It will replace the maiden RWAFPU I deployed in CAR in September last year.
Earlier during the pre-deployment briefing, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana reiterated the force’s mission and urged the officers to be professional and ethics driven and uphold national values as they execute their mission.
The Police Chief told the officers that the job they do is of great value both to Rwanda and the world.
“There are key items that you should consider while doing your job; you should always be guided by national values to be ambassadors. You should always keep the Rwandan flag flying high,” he said.
“You are going in a new place…a multinational environment. Individualism is no longer an option in today’s policing. So, be focused while working with your colleagues from other countries.”
He reminded them that the Commander-in-Chief of Security Forces, His Excellency President Paul Kagame recently pledged an all-female contingent of peacekeepers and that “RNP is ready to deploy when asked to do so.”
“We have a task ahead and we have to perform. So, whatever you do defines the image of your institution and your country.”
The IGP outlined the role of women is in peacekeeping, saying that female police officers take the helm in ending gender based violence, among others.
At Kigali International Airport, the officers, who left aboard RwandAir, were saluted off by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) in charge of Administration and Personnel, Juvenal Marizamunda and other senior officers.
In an interview with the contingent commander, CSP Rugwizangoga said that he is leading a well-equipped and trained force.
“Our mission is mainly centered on peace restoration and we are confident we will achieve that. We will build from the achievements of our colleagues like disarmament, conducting patrols and civilian or vulnerable protection,” CSP Rugwizangoga said.
Upon arrival at Bangui international airport, the Rwandan Peacekeepers were received by the MINUSCA police commissioner, Luis Miguel Carrilho and the commander of the Rwandan Police peacekeepers in CAR, ACP Gilbert R. Gumira.
They also welcomed them and briefed them on the mission structure.
Rwanda was the first country to deploy a Police contingent in CAR, last year, which the interim President, Catherine Samba Panza described as a “noble initiative”
In an interview last year, President Panza said: “Today, there is a strong bond between Central African Republic and Rwanda; we are enjoying strong bilateral cooperation. I am thankful that when I requested for Police peacekeepers, Rwanda became the first country to welcome it and to express willingness to send its contingent.”