At about 9am, Tuesday, two Formed Police Unit (FPU) contingents of combined 280 officers left Kigali International (KIA) for a one year tour-of-duty under the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
The contingents; FPU-1 and FPU-2 are commanded by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Damas Gatare and Chief Supt. Christian Safari, respectively.
The contingent under ACP Gatare will conduct its peacekeeping operations in the capital Bangui, while that under Chief Supt. Safari will be based in Kaga Bandora, about 400km north of the capital, where they will mainly be in charge of protecting internally displaced persons.
Prior to their deployment, the officers were briefed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dan Munyuza, who challenged them to “stick to the mission mandate.”
“What is required of you is to implement what you were trained to do. Always remember that you are representing your country and Rwandans,” IGP Munyuza said.
“Our country has earned her dignity defined by professionalism and efficiency in what we do, respect and discipline, the values that should equally define you,” the Police Chief added.
Their presence in CAR, he said, should guarantee the safety and security of the civilians as they go about their errands. He also reminded them to respect cultures and beliefs of the people of CAR and to support them in their community development activities.
“If you are on patrol, escorting or other security duties… be at your best; respect your superiors and other peacekeepers, maintain teamwork spirit, uniformity and hygiene.”
He observed that other contingents deployed before them endured a more fragile environment at the time, and urged them to build on that for the good image of their country.
Meanwhile, the deployed contingents replaced the same number, who returned home later in the day.
The returned FPU-1 was under the command of ACP Sam Rumanzi and FPU-2 commanded by ACP Jean Baptiste Ntaganira.
While giving an overview of their one year peacekeeping mandate in CAR, ACP Rumanzi said that the pre-deployment training helped them to endure the challenging circumstances.
He also commended the discipline and dedication of the officers as well as the good relations with the local population, which partly facilitated them to accomplish their duties.
Rwanda National Police (RNP) maintains three contingents under MINUSCA: two FPUs and a Protection Support Unit, each composed of 140 officers.
Rwanda started its peacekeeping operations in CAR in 2014, when the maiden FPU contingent was deployed.
Since then, 12 contingents have been deployed on a rotational basis.
The contingents are charged with protection of high profile officials, public order management, protection of internally displaced persons, key installations and infrastructures, patrols and escort duties, among others.