Police deploys first FPU contingent to South Sudan
A contingent of 170 Rwanda National Police (RNP) officers under Rwanda Formed Police Unit (RWAFPU) will on September 10, depart for a one year peacekeeping mission under United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
The maiden contingent dubbed RWAFPU1-UNMISS includes 37 females. It is headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Rogers Rutikanga as its contingent commander.
It will be based in Malakal County, Upper Nile State, in the northeast of South Sudan that borders Sudan and Ethiopia.
They join 28 other RNP officers deployed as Individual Police Officers in Africaâ€™s newest country.
Â During the pre-deployment briefing at the Rwanda National Police headquarters in Kacyiru, 8 Sept 15, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana, challenged the officers to uphold professional values and focus on executing the mandate of their mission effectively.
â€œYou are going for an international peace support mission, meaning you will be working alongside other peacekeeper. Ensure you work in accordance with the mission boundaries and area of responsibility and be good ambassador,â€ IGP Gasana said.
He also took note of Rwandaâ€™s contribution toward making the world a safer place for all.
â€œAfter what we experienced in 1994, Rwanda decided that we should not abandon anyone in trouble; we chose to help and vowed to bring peace to the world. You are going to this mission representing Rwandaâ€™s choice of making this world a safer place for all,â€ said the IGP.
He told the officers that besides cooperating with other forces from other countries, they should be characterised by teamwork amongst themselves.
â€œWe are sending you on this mission because your country has trusted you; we believe in your ability to perform.â€
He also pointed out that by the end of this month, Rwanda will deploy two other Formed Police Unit (FPU) contingents to Central African Republic (CAR).
This will bring the number of RNP FPU deployments to five including one currently deployed in CAR and another one in Haiti.
Malakal lies approximately 650 kilometers north of the capital, Juba. The city that formerly served as a garrison town for the Khartoum-based Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) during the Second Sudanese Civil War, has been plunged by political violence between rival parties since South Sudan gained independence in July 2011.
The role of FPU includes humanitarian assistance, crowd control, escorting VIPs and protection of civilians.
Â Currently, Rwanda is the fifth largest UN troop and Police contributing country.
Rwandan peacekeepers, however, have been praised for exporting the home-grown initiatives including the monthly community work, Umuganda, supporting vulnerable communities and e-policing.