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Rwandan Peacekeepers Return Home From Haiti After 9 Years Of Operations

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Rwanda National Police (RNP) has concluded its peace support operations in Haiti after nine years’ of rotational deployments in the Caribbean nation.

The ninth and last Rwanda Formed Police Unit (FPU-9) contingent of 140 Police officers deployed in Haiti in September last year, returned home safely this Sunday aboard a UN-chartered plane.

The contingent was received at Kigali International Police (KIA) by Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera, on behalf of Rwanda National Police leadership.

CP Kabera thanked them for sustaining and building on the legacy left behind by the contingents that served in Haiti before them.

“Rwanda National Police thanks you for representing your country well in Haiti and welcomes you back home. You sustained the Rwandan legacy and left a good picture, the duty continues back home,” CP Kabera said.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Edward Kizza, who guided FPU-9 repatriation safely, said they had a “good tour-of-duty.”

“We had enough training prior to our deployment and we inherited a legacy left behind by previous contingents where the local people were so welcoming and cooperative, and this made our peacekeeping duties easier,” SSP Kizza said.

“During our tour-of-duty, we also continued the Rwandan tradition of human security activities, we supported faith-based activities including participating in the rehabilitation of a local church and donated chairs and piano to another church; we made sure that Jeremie prison never ran out of clean water; donated medical drugs to a health centre which offers free medical services to the local people; and supported the regional Police station with vehicle spare-parts to facilitate their operations,” SSP Kizza said.

Nine years of peacekeeping in Haiti

Rwanda deployed its maiden FPU contingent of 160 officers under the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), on January 30, 2011. Since then, 1360 Police officers have been deployed in the Caribbean nation in the nine FPU contingents. Their operations were mainly in Jeremie.

Some of the crucial work that the RNP peacekeepers have done in Haiti includes provision of security in Grande Anse Region, conducting patrols and escort duties, humanitarian assistance, guarding key installations and protection of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.

Others include public order management, protection of UN delegates and provision of emergency services to the local population.

Their peacekeeping duties were also characterized by communal hygiene and human security activities where they supported varied needy groups in health, education, sports development and providing shelter.

Particularly, they constructed accommodation for a disadvantaged family in Jeremie, which were left homeless by floods, worked with the local population in rehabilitating roads, supported orphans with clothing, beddings and scholastic materials and responded to rescue activities especially during disasters like floods.

All the donations were out of financial contribution by every Rwandan police peacekeepers that served in Haiti.

The deployment of FPUs in Haiti followed the 2010 catastrophic earthquake which killed over 100, 000 people and displaced over three million others.

In April 2017, the UN Security Council extended the UN mandate in Haiti under a new entity—UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH).

Under the new mandate, Rwandan Police peacekeepers supported the Government of Haiti in strengthening rule-of-law institutions, further developing and supporting the Haitian National Police and engaging in human rights monitoring, reporting and analysis, among others.