Rwanda National Police (RNP), on Monday, replaced one of its Formed Police Unit (FPU) serving under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
The FPU II-3 contingent of 160 Police officers under the command of Assistant Commissioner (ACP) Claude Tembo left Kigali International Airport (KIA) at about 6am aboard the national carrier—RwandAir—to take positions for FPU II-2 commanded by ACP Emmanuel Karasi, which returned home later that morning.
FPU II, which will conduct its peacekeeping duties in the capital Juba, is one of the three Rwandan Police contingents deployed under UNMISS with 560 officers, combined.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) in charge of Operations, Felix Namuhoranye, during the pre-deployment briefing, urged them to be the “hope and safety of those under your protection.”
“You are going to South Sudan to work with other Police and military peacekeepers… exhibit the teamwork spirit, and be the hope for the civilians in their communities and in internally displaced camps; your presence should make them feel safe,” DIGP Namuhoranye said.
“Your one year mandate should be incident-free like other contingents that have saved in UN missions before you.
It’s a duty you have been trained and prepared to take, which requires maximum discipline, professionalism, respect for superiors and cultural diversity,” he added.
He urged to them to be neutral, be in the right place at the right time, respect chain of command, uniformity and to plan all possible scenarios ahead to avoid any errors that might result into “grave incidences.”
“What you are deployed to do is in the interest of the country, a duty that requires putting into action what you were trained to do with focus, determination and resilience. The least you can do is to keep the name of RNP and Rwanda in general, where it is,” the Deputy Police Chief said.
Meanwhile, ACP Emmanuel Karasi, whose replaced contingent returned home after successfully completing their one year tour-of-duty, thanked those under his command for their discipline and respect for norms and doctrines of Rwanda, RNP, UN and South Sudan.
“Every member of this contingent has come back safely and with a UN medal of service excellence, and we are happy for that because we have accomplished the duties that our country sent us to do,” ACP Karasi said.
He added: “Our mandate in South Sudan was no different from the day-to-day duties back home; to guarantee the safety and security of the people, the only difference is that in South Sudan you have people displaced by conflicts whose safety is largely in your hands.”
“In the implementation of our duties, we also employed the ideological concept of community policing, which brought us together with the people through Umuganda and other social activities, and we thank them for that partnership.”
Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Liberatha Bampire, who is also part of the replaced contingent, said the pre-deployment training prepared them to cope with the challenging situations.
“It is always a pride to family members, our institution (RNP) and the country to be their good ambassador and returning home safe with dignity,” CIP Bampire said.
Rwanda maintains seven Police contingents in South Sudan, Central African Republic (CAR) and Haiti with a combined force of 1140 officers.