The rotation exercise of Rwanda Formed Police Units RWAFPU7 and RWAFPU8 serving under the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) ended over the weekend with the arrival of 160 police officers who had served for a year in the Caribbean country.
The 160-strong seventh contingent that arrived Saturday was headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Faustin Ntirushwa and was received by Commissioner of Police George Rumanzi at Kigali International Airport. It was replaced by another contingent of 140 police officers that is headed by ACP Yahaya Kamunuga.
In his debrief message to the officers upon arrived, CP Rumanzi commended them for the exceptional performance throughout the mission and recognized their outstanding commitment exhibited at a time when Haiti was hit by hurricane Mathew that devastated and ruined the country, leaving most of its citizens homeless.
“In such hard times, you stood out; you endured the challenges and stayed focused. You offered humanitarian assistance to Haitians who looked up to you for help. You proved that you are a resilient force and your country thanks you,” CP Rumanzi told the officers.
Prior to their departure from Haiti, the officers were also decorated with medals of good performance in peacekeeping by the United Nations.
Meanwhile, the eighth RNP peacekeepers contingent that replaced the seventh received a pre-deployment briefing by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations, (DIGP) Dan Munyuza, on August 22 – a day before their departure.
In his address, DIGP Munyuza challenged the officers to maintain maximum discipline since they will be representing the image of Rwanda while the whole world will be looking at them.
“You have been well prepared for the mission but during your tour of duty, you are required to exhibit the highest level of integrity. Ensure that in the one year of duty your of your motherland, you serve to the best of your ability and with maximum discipline,” said DIGP Munyuza.
He also briefed the officers on their role in preserving Rwanda’s image saying that; “Rwanda’s exceptionality has been achieved through joint efforts including your fellow officers who have effectively served in peacekeeping missions. You also need to uphold these achievements.”
The Deputy Police Chief further urged them to cooperate with and learn from other peacekeepers’ experience adding that “learning is continuous.”
While departing, the officers were saluted off by the Deputy Inspector of Police (DIGP) in charge of Administration and Personnel, Juvenal Marizamunda who was flanked by several Police Commissioners and Senior Officers
The deployment of RWAFPU8 contingent brings the number of RNP officers who have served in Haiti under Formed Police Unit since the maiden deployment in 2010, to 1120.
RNP is also expected to deploy another contingent to South Sudan in September which will bring the number of RNP FPUs in UN missions to six.
Rwanda is the third largest Police contributing country globally after Senegal and Bangladesh respectively but second largest female contributor but may raise in the ranking after the deployment of an all female contingent that is set to be dispatched soon.
Currently, RNP maintains about 1000 police peacekeepers in various missions with 820 of them organised in five contingents under Formed Police Units. Others are Individual Police Officers (IPOs), who work as advisors, mentors and trainers.