Rwandan peacekeepers join in Agaciro drive
At least $120,000 (est. Rwf75 Million) was raised, was on Thursday evening, September 30, 2012 by Rwandan peacekeepers in Darfur at a fundraising dinner organized at the mess hall of Rwanda battalion 33, in El Fasher for Agaciro Development Fund (Ag DF).
The ceremony was attended by civilians, police and military officers from all the corners of Darfur, according to a statement by the Ministry of Defence.
At the beginning of the fundraising event, the gathering watched and listened to a video of the statement made by President Paul Kagame on the occasion of formally launching the Agaciro Development Fund on 24 August 2012, the country’s first solidarity fund, based on voluntary donations.
The idea of this Fund was initiated by Rwanda’s leaders, at the 2011 Umushyikirano (National Dialogue), to fast-track and to own their development and improve the level of financial autonomy of Rwanda as a nation.
Speaking at the end of the fundraising function, Lt. Gen Patrick Nyamvumba, UNAMID Force Commander, expressed his appreciation for the enthusiasm displayed by all Rwandans at the event who contributed to the Agaciro Development Fund.
Nyamvumba reminded the jubilant gathering that Rwandan peacekeepers in Darfur have up until now been known for promoting the dignity of Darfuris by way of committed and professional peacekeeping even at the cost of many lives. “Tonight”, General Nyamvumba reiterated, “you have taken the battle for Agaciro to another level”.
Present at the event was the Head of Rwanda’s Diplomatic Mission in Sudan, Colonel Muzungu Munyaneza, who thanked the organizers of the event and also made a contribution to the fund. The event was also attended by seven officers from RDF headquarters headed by Brig. Gen. Dr Charles Rudakubana, head of Peace Support Operations Department at RDF Headquarters in Kigali.
The team, which is in Darfur for routine inspection, also made a contribution to the Agaciro Fund. The Agaciro fundraising event was accompanied by traditional dance performed by women and men of both Rwandan battalions- (Rwanbatt 31 and Rwanbatt 33).
Rwanda Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, John Rwangombwa, on September 21 revealed that contributions to Agaciro Development Fund (AgDF) reached 18 billion francs, only within a month of its launch.
“We are here to announce how much contributions we have collected and would like to take this opportunity to thank all Rwandans for their massive support to this fund,” said Rwangombwa.
The Minister said the funds would be used in various developmental activities to reduce poverty especially in rural areas.
“We shall see how much money the project has generated and then decide what to do with it. The money will be used in two ways, one part will mainly be used in rural development, and we also plan to save money which will be used to fund other projects in future,” he said.