Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) concluded a relief in place operation for 2447 troops deployed in United Nations African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur, Sudan (UNAMID). The last batch (127) of troops led by Col Happy Ruvusha arrived at Kigali International Airport on 17 December 2015, around 19hrs. They were replaced by their colleagues whose last group departed in the morning of 17 December 2015.
The Acting Commander of the First Division, Brigadier General Ephrem Rurangwa who received the troops at the Airport on behalf of the Chief of Defence, General Patrick Nyamvumba congratulated the troops for a good job well done in a period of 12 months of duty in Sudan: “We came here to welcome and congratulate you in the name of RDF leadership and Rwandans in general”.
Speaking with the media at the Airport, Brigadier General Joseph Nzabamwita, RDF Spokesperson, also congratulated the RDF Peacekeepers for the activities carried out in the mission areas focusing on the protection of local population.
He noted that the RDF troops understand well that physical security needs support from humanitarian assistance activities such as construction of schools, health care, provision of water to the Internal Displaced Persons.“When we deploy in foreign missions, we go with the highest level of professionalism, impartiality and neutrality. The troops become good ambassadors of Rwanda; we take with us Rwanda’s spirit, Rwandan values of solving problems, protecting local population by assisting them. We take with us Rwanda’s experience in governance and home grown solutions in the Peacekeeping Missions”.
02 November 2015, Rwanda peacekeepers in UNAMID handed over two new youth centers constructed for Local Communities in Zalingei, Darfur in Sudan.
“We have constructed and handed over to local community classrooms for Girls’ Secondary School of Nusaibah located in 8Km East of El Fasher Town, the capital of Darfur El Salam IDPs, the School that can accommodate 700 students”, said Col Happy Ruvusha who was the Contingent Commander of 2447 Rwandan troops who arrived home after serving 12 months in UNAMID, Darfur Sudan.
During a summit on international peace operations on the sidelines of the 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York, US, September 2015, H.E President Paul Kagame together with his counterparts emphasized on the protection of civilians in Peacekeeping Missions. HE announced that Rwanda will provide two additional infantry battalions totaling 1,600 troops, two helicopters, a level two hospital and all-female police unit to UN peacekeeping missions.
With more than 5,000 military and police peacekeepers in different parts of the world, Rwanda is now the fifth largest troop-contributing nation to UN/African Union peacekeeping missions globally. RDF maintain three Infantry Battalions in Sudan, two in South Sudan and One Aviation Unit, One Infantry battalion in Central African Republic and a Level Two Hospital in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).