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#Kwibuka27: Rwandan Police Peacekeepers Commemorate

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Rwandan Police peacekeepers deployed in various UN missions, on Wednesday, April 7, joined the rest of Rwandans and friends of Rwanda to pay tribute to more than one million people massacred during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The remebrance was held separately in different Rwanda Formed Police Unit (FPU) camps in compliance with the COVID-19 preventive guidelines.

The peacekeepers converged in different halls of their respective camps to ensure social distancing as they followed Kwibuka 27 back home, on Rwanda Television.

A minute of silence was also observed to pay tribute to innocent lives massacred 27 years ago.

“We will continue to remember as we execute our peacekeeping duties. Today, officers who were not on duty came together to remember and followed a strategic guidance by His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda on what all Rwandans stand for in the name of unity and peace, and which in one way or another defines why we are here in South Sudan as Rwandan peacekeepers largely for the safety of civilians,” said Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Carlos Kabayiza, the contingent commander for Rwanda FPU-2 serving under the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

In Rwanda FPU-3, a female dominated contingent also deployed in the capital Juba under UNMISS, men and women, converged in their camp to follow Kwibuka 27 activities back home.

“We are in a fragile situation posed by the COVID-19 where we have to follow safety guidelines, but that will not stop us from remembering. We will be following Kwibuka events on TV as we mourn for the lost innocent lives, pray for the survivors as we also continue to execute our peacekeeping mandate,” said SSP Jeannette Masozera, the contingent commander for Rwanda FPU-3.

In Malakal, Upper Nile State where Rwanda FPU-1 is deployed, CSP Fabian Musinguzi reminded the officers to be close and continue supporting each other in such trying moments.

In all contingents, leisure activities have been suspended as a norm during the commemoration week.

In his message, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres said: “We saw what happened in Rwanda in 1994 and we know the horrific consequences when hate is allowed to prevail.”

Preventing history from repeating itself, he added, requires countering these hate-driven movements that have become a transnational threat.

“We must redouble our efforts and forge a permanent agenda to renew and reinvigorate our collective actions going forward.

In doing this, we must defend human rights and continue to push for policies that fully respect all members of society.”

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World Bank Signs Rwanda US$20M For Refugees

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The World Bank has approved an additional International Development Association grant of US $20 million for the Socio-Economic Inclusion of Refugees and Host Communities in Rwanda Project. This takes the total value of the project to US$80 million.

Since its inception in 2019, the project, also known in Kinyarwanda as “Jya Mbere” (move forward) is providing over 450,000 Rwandans and refugees with better access to basic services such as health, education and clean water. It also supports job creation through economic infrastructure such as roads and markets, technical and vocational training and funding for local businesses in the six districts that host refugees in Rwanda – Kirehe, Gatsibo, Gicumbi, Karongi, Nyamagabe and Gisagara.

“Rwandans and refugees alike have been heavily affected by COVID-19. Jya Mbere project will help them recover from the immediate impacts of the pandemic while building longer-term capacity in the health and education systems. The support for businesses is particularly important given the impacts on local enterprises of the COVID-19 lockdowns.” Said Matthew Stephens, World Bank Senior Social Development Specialist, and the project task team leader.

The additional US$20 million grant responds directly to the impacts of COVID-19. This will include upgrading to improve patient care at the district hospitals in Kirehe and Gatsibo, plus construction and improvements to health centers, schools and water systems in the project districts. The additional grant will also provide access to finance and training for businesses run by refugees and host community members in urban areas, including Huye District, the City of Kigali and Bugesera.

The World Bank is committed to helping Rwanda recover from the impacts of COVID-19. The additional US$ 20 million grant for the Jya Mbere project is part of a $350 million package that the World Bank has made available so far to support the government’s response to the pandemic. By including refugees and the communities that host them in these efforts, Rwanda is further solidifying its well-earned reputation as a welcoming host to refugees,” said Rolande Pryce, World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda.

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Colonel Pascal Muhizi Promoted to Brigadier General

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President Paul Kagame also Commander-in-Chief of the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) has duly promoted Colonel Pascal Muhizi to the rank of Brigadier General.

He is currently a Brigade Commander in the Southern Province, which also covers Nyungwe forest. He previously commanded Rubavu and Nyabihu districts.

According to a communique seen on the Defence Ministry website, the promotion takes immediate effect.

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Rwanda Outlines Stringent Punishment Against Covid-19 Violations

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In case a child above 2 years walks around the neighbourhood without wearing a face mask, the parent should be prepared to pay a fine of U$10 (Rwf 10,000).

The government of Rwanda on Wednesday will begin imposing a very stringent lockdown across the country as part of measures aimed at preventing the further spread of the deadly Coronavirus that causes Covid-19 disease.

Covid-19 has claimed 392 lives since its arrival on Rwanda territory in March last year. The country has since reported a total of 32,296 infections and 26,712 recoveries.

Tough punishments and fines are also slated for strict implementation against violators.

For example, anyone refusing to receive electronic payments will be slapped a fine of Rwf25,000.

Any institution or agency that will be found with employees or staff beyond the required number(percentage) will be punished with a fine of Rwf150,000.

Organising and holding a birthday, bridal shower, group prayers , weddings or any other form of event that draws people together shall attract a fine of U$200 (Rwf200,000). Those attending shall each be fined Rwf25,000.

Patients running away from a Covid-19 management facility shall be fined Rwf100,000. The healthworker responsible shall be fined Rwf100,000.

If anyone is found operating a bar or anyshop turned into bar, turning home into bar, bar in restaurant or hotel shall attract a heavy cash fine worth Rwf150,000. Anyone found in the bar will pay a fine of Rwf25,000.

Violation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) at construction sites as instituted by the city of Kigali will attract a fine of Rwf100,000 upto Rwf1million depending on the value of the construction project.

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