Rwanda National Police (RNP) today starts a three-day deployment of four contingents of 660 officers to Central African Republic and South Sudan in a rotational exercise that will replace the same number in the two peacekeeping missions.
Two Formed Police Units (FPU1 and FPU2) and a Protection and Support Unit (PSU), each composed of 140 officers, will replace the same number under the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
The PSU, which undertakes special duties such as protection of VIPs, is under the command of Assistant Commissioner of Police Emmanuel Hatari. FPU1 and FPU2 are headed by Chief Supt. Jean Pierre Ntaganira and Chief Supt. Sam Rumanzi, respectively.
Meanwhile, a hybrid contingent of 240 officers under the command of Chief Supt. Charles Butera will replace the same number under the UN Mission in South Sudan.
The FPU specialises in public order management like crowd control, facilitates delivery of humanitarian assistance, escort duties and protection of UN facilities, among others.
The Inspector General of Police, Emmanuel Gasana, during pre-deployment briefing yesterday, reminded the officers that peacekeeping forms part of Rwanda's rapid development, a legacy they should strive to protect and promote.
"This is a diplomatic duty that the country has entrusted you with. You were well trained and equipped, what remains is maximum execution of your duties," Gasana said.
"Always know and efficiently translate orders and assignments from your superiors. Alertness, effective communication, professional conduct and mandate execution, discipline, respect and teamwork are indispensable to protecting the image of RNP and the country."
He also appealed to them to respect and protect each other, and exercise patience during their year-long spell in peacekeeping duties.
"Standard operating procedures must be respected as guidelines toward a successful tour-of-duty."
Rwanda, one of the leading contributors of peacekeepers, maintains over 1,000 police peacekeepers in five missions in Haiti, Darfur, Abyei, CAR and South Sudan.
Meanwhile, an all-woman FPU contingent is also set to be deployed in South Sudan come January, next year.