On 11 Aug 2016, in Juba-South Sudan, Rwanda Aviation Unit IV (RAU IV) peacekeepers serving under the United Nations Mission in South Soudan (UNMISS) were decorated with the UN medal by the Special Representative of Secretary General of UN in South Sudan, H.E Ellen Margrethe Loej, in recognition of their demonstrated professional service under UNMISS.
H.E Ellen Margrethe Loej appreciated RAU for having played a significant and critical role in supporting UNMISS’ operations, by among others enabling troop movements, conducting reconnaissance flights and air patrols, providing medical transportation as well as administrative and logistics flights.
She underscored that RAU peacekeepers’ bravery was exemplified last year in undertaking a successful operation to rescue 18 UNMISS personnel and five UN contractors who were taken hostage in Kaka, Upper Nile - an extremely high risk operating area. She added also that the Unit has contributed to the delivering of the Mission’s humanitarian mandate, including supporting UNMISS efforts to rescue abducted Ethiopian children in the Likuangole area.
“I am told that in Rwandese language there is a saying – MUKOMEZE IMIHIGO–which means ‘maintain your dedication’. I think it is safe to say that the fourth rotation of the Rwandan Aviation Unit has maintained its dedication to the end”,Mrs Margrethe noted.
In his remarks, the RAU IV Contingent Commander, Lt Col Bernard NIYOMUGABO, expressed his sincere gratitude for the support and inspiration of the mission leadership, complemented with the harmonious working relationship with the Force Headquarters, sister UNMISS Units and UNMISS Aviation Section.
Over the last 11 months under UNMISS, RAU has performed 741 flights, transported 11,933 passengers and airlifted 1,227,000 Kgs of cargo to different places of the entire UNMISS area of responsibility.
The UNMISS Sector South Soudan Commander, Brig Gen Andrew KAGAME who is also the Country Senior in the UNMISS, thanked the crew members, technicians and all supporting staff for having demonstrated the Rwandan values of hard working and patriotism that shows the typical character of Rwandan spirit.