1 August 2017

Rwanda Deploys Regional Protection Force to S. Sudan

Photo: Human Rights Watch
South Sudan refugee

The first officers under the Reconnaissance Company of the Mechanised Infantry Battalion of Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) left the country on July 30, enroute to Juba in South Sudan, as part of a recently established regional protection force.

This was confirmed by the RDF in a statement issued Monday.

"The movement of the Contingent Owned Equipment and its manning personnel was effected by road through Uganda to the South Sudan's capital Juba," reads part of the statement

The main component of the contingent, the statement said, is expected to be airlifted from Kigali International Airport to Juba on August 5.

The deployment follows a United Nations Security Council Resolution number 2304 (2016) adopted on August 12,2016 that okayed the deployment of a Regional Protection Force (RPF) to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan to provide a secure environment in and around Juba.

Following the United Nations' request, the Government of Rwanda accepted the deployment of a Mechanised Infantry Battalion and the proposal to first send in a reconnaissance company as an advance party to the near future deployment of the battalion.

Rwanda already maintains two infantry battalions in Juba and Malakal, and one Aviation Unit.

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