At approximately 8:40am on Tuesday, a plane carrying 144 Rwanda National Police (RNP) officers left Kigali International Airport bound for Juba where they are to serve under the auspice of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
The officers, who left aboard the national flag carrier – RwandAir –, constitute a Formed Police Unit (FPU) contingent of 160 under RWAFPU II-1, an additional force that joins RWAFPU II hybrid of 240 officers. There are also 29 other Rwandan officers working as ‘Police Advisors’ under UNMISS
RWAFPU II-1, which includes 26 female officers, is headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Bosco Rangira as its contingent commander.
They were saluted off at the airport by the Commissioner for Training, Commissioner of Police (CP) Joseph Mugisha.
Prior to their deployment, the officers were on Sunday briefed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana, who challenged them to stay focused to their mission mandate with professionalism and maximum discipline.
“Maintaining the police doctrines, national values, respecting and looking out for each other is part of our tradition to success that should define your daily operations during your one year peacekeeping mandate,” IGP Gasana told the officers.
While highlighting Rwanda’s commitment to international peace, the Police Chief urged them to set forth the image that the country maintains in peacekeeping.
RNP spokesperson, ACP Theos Badege, while addressing journalists at the airport, shortly after the departure of the contingent, , said the officers were well trained and well-equipped to counter the mission challenges and effectively execute their duties.
“The mandate of the FPU contingent will be protecting civilians from eminent threats, public order management, protection of UN key installations and personnel, and humanitarian assistance,” said ACP Badege.
This new FPU contingent brings the number of Rwandan police peacekeepers in all missions to about 1200 personnel.
The new contingent is the sixth that RNP currently maintains in peacekeeping missions, with three of them in Central African Republic (CAR) and one in Haiti, each composed of 140 officers.