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Central Africa

UN Decorates Rwandan Police Peacekeepers In South Sudan

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The United Nations, on Wednesday, decorated 240 Rwandan Police peacekeepers serving in its mission in South Sudan with the ‘UN Service Medal of Honor’ for their dedicated service and sacrifice in ensuring safety, security and peace.

The decorated hybrid force under Rwanda Formed Police Unit-One (RWAFPU-1) deployed in Malakal, Upper Nile headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Paul Gatambira, is one of the three Rwandan Formed Police Units (FPUs) operating under the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

UNMISS Head of Field Office (HOFO) in Malakal Mrs. Hazel Dewet presided over the medal ceremony held in their base camp.

It was also attended by UN Police (UNPOL) Chief of Staff, ACP Barthelemy Rugwizangonga, who represented UNMISS Police Commissioner, UNMISS Sector-North Commander Brig. Gen Johnson Akou Adjei Koffi, Malakal Police commissioner Maj. Gen Chol Atem, commanders of peacekeepers from other countries, among other high-ranking UNMISS and South Sudan officials.

The medal ceremony was characterized by a parade, martial arts and cultural performance by the decorated Rwandan peacekeepers.

Mrs. Dewet hailed the Rwandan peacekeepers for their professionalism in contributing to the peace agreement in South Sudan. She particularly appreciated the role played by the Rwandan women under RWAFPU-3, adding “it’s an indication that peace-building is not only the work of men.”

“Your limitless efforts showed that you were prepared enough and brave people to endure any challenging situation; it erased doubts you would accomplish any assigned tasks with resolute efficiency and extreme professionalism even in the face of fragile and volatile environment,” Mrs. Dewet said.

She stated that the awarded medals define Rwandan peacekeepers’ commitment in the unification and peace for the people of South Sudan, adding that the UN appreciates “Rwanda’s commitment to international peace.”

The UNPOL Chief of Staff, ACP Barthelemy Rugwizangoga conveyed his gratitude to the Government of Rwanda for its contribution to UNPOL and for bridging the gender parity gap in peacekeeping.

He thanked the decorated officers for their confidence and trust building patrols, cordon and search operations, prevention of sexual and gender-based violence as well as operational support to the mandated activities of the Individual Police Officers (IPOs), UN and humanitarian actors.

In his remarks, the RWAFPU-1 contingent commander, ACP Paul Gatambira stated receiving the medal was an honor for the decorated peacekeepers, and thanked the UN, South Sudan government; UNMISS leadership and the people of South Sudan for their support, which facilitated them to effectively discharge their duties.

“I would like to acknowledge that it would not have been easier without support, encouragement, cooperation and guidance of the UNMISS leadership like; UNPOL/IPOs, Military components, UNDSS [United Nations Department of Safety and Security], and all civilian components without forgetting humanitarian agencies,” ACP Gatambira said.

He further noted that they have gained more experience, exposure, diversity and resilience in handling “unpredictable and challenging circumstances,” which will be shared back in their home country and beyond.

ACP Gatambira also thanked the decorated officers under his command for their professionalism, commitment, teamwork and hard work, and expressed gratitude to the people of Malakal for being “partners in peacekeeping activities.”

RWANFPU-1 was deployed in UNMISS, Malakal in November last year, where they were largely charged with the protection of over 32,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and communities in the vicinity and conducted varied human security activities, including communal work—Umuganda.

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Central Africa

Two Congolese Soldiers Killed By Angry Mob

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A Congolese soldier has been killed by an angry mob in the DRC’s Ruwenzori sector, in the territory of Beni (North Kivu).

The DRC military FARDC confirmed that one of its soldiers was killed by the population on Tuesday in the village of Mighende.

According to the military spokesperson in the region, the victim was attached to the 313rd Battalion based in Bulongo. The slain soldier was mistaken for a Ugandan rebel ADF fighter.

The incidence took place ten kilometers east of the commune of Lume, in the Ruwenzori sector, in the territory of Beni (North Kivu).

Details indicate that the soldier was mobbed by young people who threw at him stones and sticks until he was eliminated. This soldier is the second victim of mob justice in the same village in the 24 hour interval.

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Central Africa

Former Seleka Group Leader Says François Bozizé Heads Rebel Coalition CPC

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Noureddine Adam, the Former number two of the Seleka rebel group in Central African Republic has given a hint on what to make of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), whose troops attacked Bangui Capital on January 13.

Noureddine Adam was known as a member of the Emir of Abu Dhabi’s security service, boss of a security company in the United Arab Emirates, leader of the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace or number two of the Séléka and at the head of the Popular Front for the Renaissance of the Central African Republic (FPRC).

Now there is a new Noureddine Adam, son of an Imam and a trained policeman, at the heart of the new Central African rebel organization: the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC).

It was partly on his orders that the CPC troops launched a series of attacks on Bangui on January 13, in order to further increase the pressure on President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, whose re-election on the 27th last December is contested.

Did the CPC really aim to conquer the capital? What are his relations with François Bozizé? Does it have the means to hold out against Minusca, the Russians and the Rwandans? And, if so, what would it do with power?

Noureddine Adam, who lives in hiding between Sudan and its strongholds of Birao and Ndele, in the north of the Central African Republic, was interviewed by Jeune Afrique.

What is the current objective of the Coalition of Patriots for Change, which attacked Bangui on January 13?

Noureddine Adam: The objectives of the CPC remain those which were clearly stated in the Kamba-Kota declaration of December 15, 2020: restore security throughout the territory, restore the sovereignty of the State within the borders and on all of its natural and economic resources, guarantee each citizen the freedom to come and go without hindrance, to engage in his economic activities … In a word: develop the country and lift the Central African out of poverty and precariousness.

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Central Africa

MINUSCA Troops Retake Rebel-Held City In Central African Republic

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UN peacekeeping troops say they have retaken control of a city in the Central African Republic captured two weeks ago by armed groups waging an offensive against President Faustin Archange Touadera’s regime.

Rebels abandonded their positions in Bangassou, 750 kilometres east of the capital Bangui, and fled the city following an ultimatum on Friday from the UN peacekeeping force MINUSCA, the force’s spokesman Vladimir Monteiro said late Saturday.

“The city of Bangassou is under the complete control of MINUSCA,” Monteiro added.

Armed groups waging a nationwide offensive captured the city on January 3, forcing many residents to flee to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“It’s a great joy,” Juan Jose Aguirre, the bishop of Bangassou, told media following the UN operation to regain control of the city.

“After thirteen days sleeping outdoors, people will be able to return to their homes,” he added.

Lieutenant Colonel Abdoulaziz Fall, spokesman for MINUSCA’s military component, said the UN force intervened to stop attempts at looting overnight Friday to Saturday.

“The situation is calm and under control and positions that had been occupied by armed groups are no longer,” Fall said.

Six of the most powerful armed groups, who have occupied roughly two-thirds of the country for eight years, united a month ago to wage an offensive.

The coalition announced their offensive ahead of the December 27 presidential and legislative vote, aimed at preventing Touadera’s re-election.

Landlocked CAR is one of the world’s poorest nations and has seen a string of coups and wars since it gained independence from France in 1960.

 

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