Rwanda Defence Force has initiated a replacement operation for its troops serving under United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
The first group of 133 RDF peacekeepers from 75 Infantry Battalion left Kigali for Juba aboard a RwandAir aircraft early in the morning of 30 November 2016. They will deploy in Malakal replacing their colleagues from 5 Infantry Battalion, whose first batch (134) arrived also at Kanombe International Airport at around 11h00.
On behalf of the RDF Chief of Defence Staff, the RDF 3 Division Commander, Maj Gen Alex Kagame urged outgoing RDF peacekeepers to be good ambassadors of Rwanda and perform excellently their mission mandate related to protection of civilians. He advised the peacekeepers to maintain high standard of discipline and Rwandan values.
“To achieve successfully your Mission, you will have to maintain, throughout your tour of duty, the high standard of discipline we as RDF have set in Rwanda and abroad. This high standard of discipline must be maintained at its level and even beyond”, Gen Kagame emphasised.
While welcoming the returning group of RDF peacekeepers from 5 Infantry Battalion, Gen Alex Kagame congratulated them for having successfully concluded their tour of duty after 12 months of service under UNMISS in Malakal. He further urged them to maintain their discipline in future duties they will be assigned and to join other Rwandans in building the country.
The RDF Relief in Place operation for troops deployed under UNMISS in Malakal, South Sudan is expected to wind up on 17 December 2016.
Rwanda maintains six Battalions in peacekeeping missions, including three Battalions in Darfur (UNAMID), two Battalions and one Aviation Unit in South Sudan (UNMISS), as well as one Battalion and a Level II Hospital in Central African Republic (MINUSCA).