The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Peacekeepers Hand Over Schools in Darfur

Rwandan peacekeepers serving under the AU-UN Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), last week handed over more schools to local communities.

The development comes as the troops prepare to return home as their year tour of duty comes to an end.

Last Thursday, UNAMID handed over nine Quick Impact Projects constructed by Rwanbatt 31 (17 Bn) in the general area of Kuma Garadayat in the locality of Korma, North Darfur, according to a statement e-mailed to The New Times.

"The projects were constructed with view of improving the living conditions of local population, mainly the vulnerable ones," reads part of the statement from the Rwandan contingent.

Aïchatou Mindaoudou, the Acting Joint AU-UN Special Representative, welcomed and appreciated "the good collaboration between the Rwandan Battalion and the local population."

She commended Rwanbatt 31 for its sacrifice in implementing the community projects.

Through such initiatives, the UNAMID intends to win the hearts and minds of the local population and, therefore, increase cooperation and trust between the locals and UNAMID to facilitate the implementation of its mandate - protection of civilians.

"Most importantly, the projects will allow the children of Kuma Garadayat locality and surroundings to learn in good conditions and subsequently give them hope for a better and improved life," reads the statement.

UNAMID released the funds for purchasing construction materials while Rwanbatt 31 executed the projects in collaboration with local community.

This is not the first time Rwandan peacekeepers have shown commitment to peacekeeping 'with a difference' as they have built many more schools for local communities in Sudan's region of Darfur.

In April, last year, Rwanbatt 28 (4Bn) handedover seven classrooms to Nur Salam Basic School and two classrooms and a veranda in El Salaam Basic School, both in the Kabkabiya region, North Darfur.

In the same month, in the Saraf Umra locality, Rwanbatt 28 commissioned three classrooms and a staffroom in Safra Jama Basic School, while Rwanbatt 29 (157 Bn) handed over 10 classrooms constructed in the Abushouk Internally Displaced People's Camp, in El Fasher, North Darfur.

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