The UN medals were awarded to RNP officers along Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Barthelemy Rugwizangoga, the commander of Rwanda police peacekeepers, during a ceremony held at Rwanda Formed Police Unit-Two (RWAPFU-2) in Juba, South Sudan. The first ceremony was chaired by Unaisi Lutu Vuniwaqa, UNMISS Police Commissioner.
RNP peacekeepers in South Sudan are in charge of protecting government officials and civilians, actively prevent conflict, reduce violence and strengthen security through patrols.
The award ceremony was graced by the presence of high-ranking commissioners of police in South Sudan and Brig. Gen Eugène Nkubito, Rwanda Sector Commander in Juba.
Vuniwaqa commended the bravery, courage, and professionalism of Rwandan peacekeepers and expressed how proud the UN and citizens in South Sudan feel for being under the protection of Rwandan peacekeepers. " You are a great addition to the UN taskforce and together we can support South Sudan transition from conflict to peace."
As the first-ever female police commissioner in the UN, Vuniwaqa particularly thanked female peacekeepers and emphasized the role of women in UNPOL in making a difference in the lives of the people they protect. "To the 14 Rwandan female peacekeepers, you are appreciated for your efforts. It is your time to especially help fight gender-based violence as one of the striking vices in war-ridden regions."
ACP Claude Tembo, FPU 3 commander said that the UN Mission in South Sudan taught them a lot of valuable lessons they will apply once they get home. He thanked Rwandan peacekeepers for their bravery and relentlessness and the people of South Sudan for their collaboration without which the mission they came for wouldn’t have been possible.
Decorated Rwandan peacekeepers started their mission in South Sudan in April 2019. Currently, Rwanda has 3 cohorts in peacekeeping missions in South Sudan made of 560 police officers. Two of the three cohorts were decorated yesterday, one led by ACP Claude Tembo and other by Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jackline Urujeni.