The United Nations has awarded medal of service excellence to 430 Rwandan Police peacekeepers serving under the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
The decorated officers, who include 58 females, constitute three contingents; two Rwanda Formed Police Units (FPUs) and a Protection and Support Unit PSU, each composed of 140 police officers. Others serve as Individual Police Officers (IPOs), and act as advisors and mentors.
Whereas FPU specializes in public order management like crowd control, facilitate delivery of humanitarian assistance, escort duties and protection of UN facilities; PSU undertakes special duties such as protection for VIPs among others.
The medal parade ceremony held on September 15 in the capital Bangui, and presided over by the Deputy Special Representative of UN Secretary General in charge of Humanitarian Affairs in MINUSCA, Najat Rochdi.
While speaking about the importance of the "exemplary service and work" done by the decorated officers for the people of CAR, Rochdi noted that the service medal signifies "respect and admiration for accomplishments made to bringing peace and safety in Central African Republic."
She commended the "high level of discipline and good conduct exhibited by Rwanda National police contingents", a conduct she said should "inspire peacekeepers all over the world."
"You have done your work with diligence and courage to protect civilians under threat of death in the Central African war-torn society," she said.
She recognized the "outstanding quality of Rwandan leadership and Rwanda National Police in particular that inspires Rwandan police peacekeepers all over the world."
Rochdi also paid tribute to RNP and the country in general for upholding "zero tolerance" policy to indiscipline such as sexual exploitation and abuse.
The medal parade ceremony was also attended by a cross section of staff from MINUSCA, senior CAR government officials and security forces, as well as members of Rwandan Diaspora in CAR.
Rwanda was the first country to deploy a contingent of Police officers in CAR in August 2014, a month before the blue berets officially took over the peacekeeping mandate from African Union.