Rwandan peacekeepers from the 6th Rwandan Contingent in Khartoum, Sudan, have been decorated with a Force Commander’s Unit Citation, in honour for carrying out tasks professionally throughout the unit’s tour of duty in Sudan.
According to the Rwandan New Times, the citation was communicated by Moses Bisong Obi, the Force Commander of the United Nations Missions in Sudan (UNMIS). The 6th Rwandan Contingent began operating in Khartoum in December 2009. Rwanda started its peace mission Sudan in 2004.
In a statement, Bisong said that the unit had adapted itself to the environment and commenced the execution of its task diligently.
“The 6th Rwandan Contingent was saddled with the responsibility of providing security to UNMIS Compound 08, the UNMIS HQ, in addition to providing clerical and administrative assistance to UNMIS HQ,” he stated.
“It is to the credit of the contingents that during their tour of duty, there was no single security breach at the UNMIS HQ. In the nine months period of the Unit’s tour of duty, the Contingent executed numerous tasks that they were assigned.”
“For the professional competence in discharging its duties under challenging circumstances, the 6th Rwandan Contingent is therefore awarded the Force Commander’s Unit Citation.”
Rwanda has deployed close to 4 000 peacekeepers worldwide, including 3 200 troops to Darfur and 254 troops to Khartoum. It has also deployed more than 70 staff officers and Military Observers to both UNAMID (UN Mission in Darfur) and UNMIS.
The UN last month praised Rwanda’s peacekeeping mission in Darfur on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on May 29.
UN Deputy Secretary General Asha-Rose Migiro, expressed gratitude for the commitment and professionalism Rwanda has exhibited in its peacekeeping mission in the war torn Durfur region in Sudan.
“As we mark the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, we pay tribute to the more than 120 000 military, police and civilians serving worldwide under the blue flag and remember those who lost their lives in the cause of peace,” he said.
The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was established by the General Assembly in 2002 to pay tribute to all men and women serving in United Nations peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage, New Times reports.
In a ceremony to mark the day, 73 peacekeepers, including five Rwandans who lost their lives while serving with the United Nations between 1 March and 31 December last year, posthumously receive the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal.
Another 26 UN peacekeepers who died between January 1 and April 10 this year were also recognized at the ceremony.
“The RDF is proud to be part of the forces that are contributing to regional and international peace and security,” said Rwandan Defence Force spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Jill Rutaremara.