The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Female Police Officers Commended for Darfur Mission

THE Inspector General of Police, Emmanuel Gasana, yesterday met a contingent of 80 female police officers who successfully served 23 months under the United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) in Darfur, Sudan.

Addressing the contingent at Rwanda National Police (RNP) headquarters in Kacyiru, Gasana commended them for their commitment in serving to their required standards.

"Rwanda has been praised for being ahead in offering female police officer in Peace Support Operations. This is a good thing to note," IGP explained.

He added that after nearly two years in Darfur, Rwandans should be happy because their efforts have helped the country and had been acknowledged globally.

"What you achieved was due to the positive values, doctrine, discipline and the profession you demonstrated, which is what we expect of you during your return back to the force," he added, encouraging them to maintain three key values-discipline, image and Agaciro (dignity) in the Police force.

He hailed them for their outstanding discipline during their mission and urged them to use the experience gained in enhancing the force's professionalism.

Gasana also briefed them on the current activities within the force which include having peace support centre to offer refresher course to police officers, support welfare for police officers which include the housing scheme or Zigama CSS.

He also said that they have good bilateral relations with regional countries; they are working on electronic policing, logistic school and the ongoing exercise of sending officers for further studies both within and outside the country.

According to the Director of Peace Support Operations in Rwanda National Police, Supt. Egide Ruzigamanzi, the female police officers were selected in line with the UN Resolution 1325 which advocates for gender mainstreaming in all activities and ending violence against women.

"In war-torn countries, many acts of Gender Based Violence are realised and our female police officers are well placed to deal with them,"

These female police officers have provided protection to children, taught local police in Darfur how to handle children and female criminals and also worked within Internally Displaced Camps and helped in the introduction of GBV desk in the area.

The Peacekeeping missions by the force started in 2005 when the first police contingent was deployed in Darfur (UNAMID), Sudan (UNAMIS) and Haiti (MINUSTAH).

Liberia, South Sudan and Ivory Coast are other missions where Rwanda has sent police officers.

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