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Rwandan troops depart for Regional Protection Force under UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan

Kigali, 05 August 2017

Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) has today deployed the main body of Reconnaissance Company of the Mechanised Infantry Battalion to South Sudan. The 123 RDF Peacekeepers under command of Major Bosco Ntaganira that left Kigali International Airport on 5 August around 6:00 am, are part of Regional Protection Force (RPF) to United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

RDF troops under Regional Protection Force deployed to UNMISS were seen off by Brig Gen Wilson Gumisiriza at Kigali International Airport on 5 August around 6:00 am. Photos/ RDF

On behalf of the RDF Chief of  Defence Staff, Brigadier General Wilson Gumisiriza the Head of Peace Support Operation at RDF Headquarters urged the RDF peacekeepers going for UN mission in Juba to be good “ambassadors” of Rwanda and keep in mind their core mission of protecting civilians. “Be always guided by RDF values and discipline, work in team spirit and safeguard the good image of Rwanda by performing your mission at high standards”, he guided the RDF peacekeepers under UNMISS Regional Protection Force.

The first elements and Contingent Owned Equipment movement was effected by road through Uganda to the South Sudan’s capital Juba left Rwanda on 30 July 2017 and arrived safely last night.

Rwandan troops under RPF were welcomed in UNMISS by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in South Sudan, David Shearer together with the RPF Commnder, Brig Gen JJ Mupenzi and Rwanbatt1 Commanding Officer Lt Col Vianney Cuba. Photos/ Rwnbatt1

“The deployment follows a request from the United Nations, the acceptance of Government of Rwanda to deploy a Mechanised Infantry Battalion and the proposal to first send in a Reconnaissance Company as an Advance Party to the near future deployment of the Battalion totaling 920 troops”, Brig Gen Ferdinand Safari, Ministry of Defence DG Policy& Strategy disclosed.

on 12 August 2016, United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution number 2304 (2016) authorising the deployment of a Regional Protection Force (RPF) to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan to provide a secure environment in and around Juba.

Currently, Rwanda maintains two Infantry battalions in Juba and Malakal and one Aviation Unit serving under UNMISS.