Some 180 Rwandan Police peacekeepers serving under the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA) were on Wednesday, October 11, awarded the UN service medals in recognition of their sacrifice to protect civilians.
The medal parade ceremony for Rwanda Formed Police Unit-Three (RWAFPU3-1) was held at their base-camp in Bangassou city.
The ceremony was presided over by the Deputy Head of MINUSCA Police Component, Commissioner of Police (CP) Habi Garba.
It was also attended by Rwanda’s Head of Diplomatic Mission to Central African Republic, Olivier Kayumba, MINUSCA officials, the Governor of Mbomou Prefecture, Madam Bengwere Pierrette and peacekeepers from other contributing countries.
CP Garba recognized the decorated peacekeepers for their outstanding service to protect civilians and to ensure peace in Bangassou.
He commended Rwanda’s role in ensuring international peace, as the first African contributing country and fourth globally.
“The outstanding leadership of the Government of Rwanda and in particular Rwanda National Police inspires…it sets a tone for your service excellence all over the world,” CP Garba said.
He added: “Rwanda placed trust in you and we are here today to recognize your efforts, sacrifice, discipline and professionalism dispite the mission challenges.”
The RWAFPU-3 contingent commander, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Athanase Ruganintwari thanked the MINUSCA leadership, the people, security forces and Government of CAR, as well as other peacekeepers, for their support and close collaboration, which helped them to execute and accomplish their mandated tasks.
“Our duties are embodied in the MINUSCA mandate; protection of civilians and creating conducive atmosphere for the delivery of humanitarian assistance,” SSP Ruganintwari said.
“We defined these duties not only in day and night mobile and foot patrols, escorts, providing security for Bangassou Airstrip… but also working with the local community in community policing activities, human security initiatives such as providing medical assistance and communal work; all which add value to the Protection of Civilians mandate.”
The contingent commander further thanked the commitment, discipline teamwork and dedication of the officers under his command and called for their continued engagement until the end of their tour-of-duty.
The RWAFPU-3 is an additional contingent deployed in November, last year, and the first UN peacekeepers to operate in Bangassou, north-east of the Capital, Bangui.
It is one of the four Rwandan Police contingents deployed in CAR, with a total strengthen of 640 peacekeepers, and other 70 peacekeepers serving as Individual Police Officers (IPO).