The contingent commander for the Rwandan Formed Police Unit-Three (RWAFPU-3) serving under the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Teddy Ruyenzi said that deploying women in peacekeeping duties provides a voice and breaks silence especially for the women and girls affected by conflicts.
ACP Ruyenzi made the remarks on Thursday during “Crime Watch Program” on Radio Mariya, a UN owned radio based in the capital Juba. She heads a Rwandan Police contingent of 160 officers, majority of them women.
The contingent command, who was accompanied by her two juniors; Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) S Dusabe and Inspector of Police (IP) Fred Kayihura, during the radio talk-show, shade light on the background of the unit under her command, its mandate, achievements, challenges and the unit’s impact on local communities especially women and girls.
The female dominated contingent pledged by His Excellency Paul Kagame, was deployed to UNMISS in June last year, and was late last month decorated with the ‘UN Service Medal of Honor.’
“Being a female peacekeeper is an inspiration to other women, and we are proud to be part of it,” ACP Ruyenzi said.
She added: “We have carried out different operational activities, met and inspired a lot of people especially women in internally displaced camps, which enhanced the communication and information sharing on gender based violence GBV and other crimes between peacekeepers and the people; it has contributed to mindset change and reduced biases.”
RWAFPU-3 undertook varied peacekeeping responsibilities including providing security and protection to VIPs, ensuring safety and security for two civilian camps as well as supporting humanitarian activities.
Other special assignments include biometric registration and escort of primary and secondary school students from camps to Juba town for national examinations, and responding to security incidents.
ACP Ruyenzi observed that being women has helped them to respond to issues affecting women, girls and children.
During the interactive talk-show, South Sudanese appreciated the activities performed by the Rwandan Unit, and were urged to be the “source and foundation of security” through “community policing.”