The New Times (Kigali)

Rwandan Peacekeepers Construct Market in Darfur

Rwandan peacekeepers serving under the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) on Tuesday unveiled a women's market.

The market was funded and constructed by officers and men/women of Rwanbatt 30, stationed in Nertiti, Zalingei, West Darfur.

While handing over the market to the local population, the Commanding Officer of Rwanbatt 30, Lt. Col. Christopher Rutaremara, said the choice to construct a women's market was to raise the welfare of families through women basing on Rwandan culture where the " woman is indeed the heart of the family."

Lt. Col. Rutaremara hopes the project will positively impact on the lives of local residents through raising households' standards of living, creating employment and promoting gender equality, as is done back home in Rwanda, to empower women.

UNAMID Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba, who was guest of honor at the event, thanked the soldiers for their efforts in implementing such a project alongside their other operational duties.

He emphasized that the project was put in place so as to reduce the suffering of hard working women who are looking for a noble means of putting food on the table for their families."

Lt. Gen. Nyamvumba reiterated his appreciation towards the cooperation between the peacekeepers and local population that makes such projects feasible.

This is not the first time Rwandan peacekeepers under UNAMID partake in what appears to be peacekeeping with a difference. RDF peacekeepers in Darfur are continuously replicating home-made nation-building post conflict initiatives like building schools, providing free medical services, promoting hygiene, and others, in the war ravaged region, to help the people of Darfur to rebuild their lives.

Rwandan contingents have introduced Umuganda [community work] initiatives wherever they operate in Darfur. They also built schools for communities in Zam Zam, Kabkabiya and El Fasher in North Darfur.

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