A contingent of 160 Rwandan police officers on Wednesday departed for a one-year peacekeeping mission under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)
At exactly 1:49pm, a contingent of 160 female-dominated police officers left Kigali International Airport aboard RwandAir for a one year peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.
The Formed Police Unit Three (FPU-3) commanded by Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jacque Urujeni replaced the maiden female-dominated unit headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Teddy Ruyenzi, which was deployed to UNMISS in June last year.
The replaced contingent returned home later in the evening after a successful tour-of-duty.
The female contingent was pledged by His Excellency Paul Kagame, the President of the Republic of Rwanda during the UN Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping Operations in 2015.
During the pre-deployment briefing, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dan Munyuza told the officers that they have been well trained and that they have the skills and readiness required to fulfill their duty.
“You are going in a country with different weather condition but you have been prepared and trained physically and mentally to stand such tests and to accomplish your duties,” IGP Munyuza said.
“Uphold the legacy of the contingent you are replacing, which has been credited for much success, work with other peacekeepers and the people of South Sudan and respect their cultures,” he added.
He reminded them that their conduct while on or off duty should reflect the image of their country and the force.
“Serve with commitment and discipline, it is what Rwanda stands for and it is what you must project while out there,” the Police chief emphasized.
He spoke at length about discipline, integrity, and respect for each and teamwork as pillars to the effective delivery of the mission mandate.
“Our country has achieved a lot in all sectors of development including security both locally and cross-border in peacekeeping missions, sustain that legacy and build from it,” IGP Munyuza said.
He also reminded them that the Rwandan culture of human security goes beyond borders even in peacekeeping missions.
The deployment of the female-dominated contingent is in line with the national gender policy on gender promotion and equality.
It also reflects on how further Rwanda responds to international peace in the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 1325 that stressed the important role women can play in peacekeeping and conflict resolution.
The UN resolution calls for more women in decision-making positions, a gendered perspective to be “mainstreamed” across peacekeeping and for more women to participate in field operations as police and as human rights observers.
Women constitute about 30 percent of the seven FPU contingents deployed in various South Sudan, Central African Republic (CAR) and Haiti, making Rwanda the second largest contributor of female peacekeepers.
Source: Rwanda National Police