The United Nations, on Saturday, awarded ‘Medal of Service Excellence’ to 428 Rwandan Police peacekeepers serving under its Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
The decorated officers, 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, facilitating delivery of humanitarian assistance, escort duties and protection of UN facilities; PSU undertakes special duties such as protection for VIPs and other duties assigned by the Joint Task-Force (JTFB) command.
The medal parade ceremony was held at the Rwanda FPU base camp in the capital Bangui and was presided over by Mr. Kenneth Gluck, Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (DSRSG) in charge of Political Affairs and Protection of Civilians in MINUSCA.
Present was also MINUSCA Joint Task Force for Bangui (JTFB) Commander, Brigadier General Coulibaly Bamoro, Police Commissioner, Gen. Pascal Champion as well as the Rwandan community and friends of Rwanda in CAR, among others.
The DSRSG commended the Rwandan peacekeepers for their sacrifice in restoring peace for the people of CAR.
He urged them to keep on combatting sexual exploitation and abuse in the remaining period of their mission mandate.
’’I extend my appreciation to Rwanda for the contribution in UN peacekeeping missions.” Mr. Gluck said.
He added: “Despite various challenges, you played an outstanding role in ensuring safety and security in CAR especially the Protection of Government institutions and protection of internally displaced persons. This guarantees your significant contribution in safety and security during the upcoming electoral period.”
“These medals you are awarded today are a merit, keep up the good until the end of your mission.’’
MINUSCA Police Commissioner, Champion commended the Government of Rwanda and the decorated peacekeepers for their role in security and peace restoration in CAR.
’’I appreciate the Government and the Police of Rwanda for the contribution in ensuring peace and security in CAR through various actions, which were extended to the people through community policing and human security activities.”
I thank His Excellency Paul Kagame [President of the Republic of Rwanda] who visited CAR last month, for his outstanding role and commitment in international peace management,’’ Gen. Champion said.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Damas Gatare, the contingent commander for RWAFPU One, who spoke on behalf of the decorated contingents, thanked MINUSCA and CAR leadership as well as the people of CAR for their support and facilitation in the accomplishment of their mandates.
‘’I take this opportunity to recognize the endless and immeasurable cooperation and support extended to us by MINUSCA, National Security Forces, local leadership and the community that made our daily tasks a success,’’ ACP Gatare said.
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 the African Union.