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RDF concludes relief in place operation for peacekeepers deployed in Central Africa Republic

Kigali, 7 March 2017

Rwanda Defence Force has concluded the relief in place operation (started on 28 Feb 2017) for its Peacekeepers serving under the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), 13 Infantry Battalion replacing 101 Inf Bn.

On 7 March 2017, the last batch of 101 Inf Bn Officers and Men along with their Commanding Officer, Lt Col Claver Kirenga landed at Kigali International Airport aboard RwandAir Umurage aicraft at around 13h00, whereas the last group of the replacing force departed early in the morning for Bangui, the CAR Capital City.

While welcoming the last group of 101 Infantry Battalion returning from UN Mission in Central Africa Republic, the 2 Division Commander, Brig Gen Eugene Nkubito thanked the Peacekeepers for the job well-done under MINUSCA for the last 12 months.

“RDF thank you for concluding your mission successfully. The fact that HE the President of CAR decorated you with CAR Recognition Medal is a testimony of your invaluable work done for the People of Central African Republic”, Gen Nkubito pointed out. He further briefed the returning Peacekeepers on the security situation in Rwanda and the country's development progress. He finally urged them to maintain discipline and RDF values, and to be ready to perform correctly their future assignments.

Lt Col Kirenga (in blue helmet) welcomed by Brig Gen Nkubito (left) and other officers at Kigali International Airport

The returning Battalion CO, Lt Col Claver Kirenga expressed their deep satisfaction for concluding successfully their mission under MINUSCA despite challenges they faced.  “We were not only charged of protecting the People of Central Africa in general, but also we were responsible for VIP protection including the President of the Republic, HE Faustin-Archange Touadéra. We played correctly our role and we are happy of that”.

Amongst the challenges encountered while on Tour of Duty under MINUSCA, Col Kirenga cited arms that are still in hands of individuals and armed groups, noting that disarmament remains a challenge and security threat.

On 25 February 2017 HE President TOUADERA of CAR decorated Rwanda Peacekeepers with CAR Recognition Medal (Médaille de Reconnaissance Centrafricaine) for their professionalism, commitment at work and discipline with view to bringing peace and stability in his country.