Valentine Rugwabiza assumes duties as MINUSCA boss

On 19 April 2022 at 08:17

Ambassador Valentine Rugwabiza who was recently appointed the United Nations Special Representative for the Central African Republic and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) has assumed duties.

As she assumed duties, a guard of honour by peacekeepers in CAR was mounted on Monday 18th April 2022 to welcome her officially.

The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres appointed Amb. Rugwabiza on 23rd February 2022 replacing Mankeur Ndiaye of Senegal who had led the Mission since 2019. He concluded his tour of duty on 28th February 2022.

Rugwabiza has worked for more than thirty years on Africa development and security issues in both the public and corporate sectors as a Cabinet Member, a senior diplomat of Rwanda accredited to several countries and organizations and a senior leader in national, regional and multilateral entities.

From 2016, Rugwabiza has served as the Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations and non-resident Ambassador of Rwanda to Colombia and Jamaica. From 2014 to 2016, she was the Minister of East African Community Affairs and a Member of the East African Legislative Assembly. From 2013 to 2014, she served as Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board and Member of Cabinet.

From 2005 to 2013, Rugwabiza was the Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva. Prior to that, she served as the Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations Office in Geneva and United Nations specialized agencies, as well as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Rwanda to Switzerland from 2002 to 2005.

Rugwabiza speaks English, French, Swahili and Kinyarwanda.

The statement announcing her appointment read that Rugwabiza is expected to cement Rwanda’s rise to prominence within the mission.

Since June last year, the mission’s police component was led by CP Christophe Bizimungu , the former Commander of Rwanda Police Academy located in Musanze, Northern Province. He replaced French citizen Pascal Champion. Among others, the humanitarian coordination office has been managed by Rwandan Vedaste Kalima since January 2021.

Rwanda has 1660 soldiers and police force comprised of 459 since the mission began in 2014.

Rwandan soldiers have been protecting CAR’s president’s office since 2015.

A guard of honour was mounted to formally welcome Amb. Valentine Rugwabiza as MINUSCA boss.