A Formed Police Unit (FPU) contingent of 140 officers left on October 10 for a one year peacekeeping duty under the United Nations Multi-dimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
The contingent headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Elias Mwesigye as its commander, replaced the same number under ACP Gilbert Gumira, which also returned home later in the day after a successful tour-of-duty.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana, during the pre-deployment briefing at the Rwanda National Police (RNP) General Headquarters in Kacyiru, noted that “Rwanda’s image and prestige in CAR will be determined by your character, discipline and execution of your mandate.”
While emphasizing the need to stay focused, the Police Chief noted that contributing and ensuring international peace is among Rwanda’s policies to which they stand for and represent particularly in CAR.
Team work with other peacekeepers, he noted, is an essential factor that should as well continue to define them and to give value to the responsibilities the nation has entrusted them with.
“Each one of you has a role to play but bearing in mind that a mistake by an individual can taint the image of the whole contingent, the institution and the nation,” IGP Gasana noted.
He urged them to be a value addition to safety, security and peace building in CAR, maintain their profession conduct and define their work effectively and efficiently to carry on from where their predecessors left.
Meanwhile, ACP Gumira thanked RNP and the government of Rwanda for giving them the opportunity to represent the country and the support that enabled them to successfully and professionally stay atop of their peacekeeping duties.
His contingent is among the 448 Rwandan police officers in CAR, who were decorated late last month with UN service medals for their outstanding performance and observing the UN core values; respect of diversity, integrity and professionalism.
ACP Gumira went on to commend the men and women under his command for the “team spirit, discipline and commitment” which made their peacekeeping operations and execution of their mandate, easier.
The contingent that returned home was instrumental in the protection of internally displaced persons(IDPs), provided security during the Pope’s visit, security CAR during elections and ensuring free movement of people especially in troubled districts of 3, 4, 5 and 8 in the capital Bangui.
There are three contingents – two FPUs and a special Protection Support Unit (PSU) – in CAR, each composed of 140 police officers.
Rwanda maintains about 1000 police peacekeepers in five UN missions, with about 830 of them organized in four FPU contingents and a PSU, while others act as Individual Police Officers, whose mandate include acting as mentors, police advisers.