Rwandaâ€™s PSU assigned to protect CAR premier
The Rwanda National Police (RNP) Protection Support Unit (PSU) currently on a peacekeeping duty in Central African Republic has been assigned to take charge of the security detail of the newly appointed Prime Minister, Simplice Sarandji.
The PSU composed of 140 police officers headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Benoit Kayijuka, is the first of its kind RNP has deployed in any international peacekeeping mission.
It was deployed in October last year under the United NationsÂ Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA), with a mandate to provide security to the VIPs and protection of key installations among others.
â€œWe have been tasked to ensure full protection of the new nominated premier. The new duties will focus on close protection, escorting duties and static guard at the premier ministerâ€™s residence,â€ ACP Gilbert R. Gumira, the commander of RNP peacekeepers in CAR, said.â€‹
â€œThis is a new assignment alongside other duties of providing security to other high profile officials including government and UN staff,â€ he added.
Mr Simplice Sarandji was the campaign manager of the new CAR president, Faustin Archange Touadera and served as his director of cabinet during former president Francois Bozizeâ€™s regime, when Touadera was also the Prime Minister.
The new assignment comes after PSU successfully protected president Touadera during his campaign trails, a role that has since been assumed by the Rwandan military peacekeepers.â€‹
Rwanda maintains a total of 450 police peacekeepers in CAR, including two Formed Police Units (FPUs) composed of 140 officers each, and 30 Individual Police Officers (IPOs).
The IPOs act as advisers, mentors and trainers, among their responsibilities.