Kigali, 10 December 2017
Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) has started relief-in-place operations of its peacekeepers deployed in Zalingei as part of the African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID), Republic of Sudan. The 53 Infantry Battalion (53Bn) is relieving 37Bn that ended its tour of duty with UNAMID.
The outgoing 53Bn was briefed on this Saturday at Rwanda Military Academy Gako by the Army Chief of Staff (ACOS), Maj Gen Jacques Musemakweli who urged the peacekeepers to portray high degree of commitment and professionalism while fulfilling their mission of protecting people. “When your country selects you for a mission like this, you should raise your national flag high and make your nation proud by fulfilling the assigned mandate and tasks in the best way you can. You should uphold high level of discipline, physical and mental readiness and stay focused on your mission” Gen Musemakweli advised the peacekeepers. He emphasized that RDF has set good standards in peacekeeping mission and urged the departing troops to deliver even better.
At the start of rotation this morning, RwandAir airlifted 135 RDF peacekeepers of 53Bn to Zalingei in Darfur and returned with the same number of the incoming 37Bn. The returning peacekeepers landed at Kigali International Airport this evening at 1600hrs and were welcomed by Col Paul Nyemazi, 305 Brigade Commander on behalf of RDF Leadership.
He congratulated them for a job well done, good conduct during their tour of duty and took the opportunity to remind the officers, women and men to use the acquired experience to serve better their country. He also wished them a happy reunion with their families.
The rotation operation that kicks off today will be concluded on 19 December 2017 after rotating 1624 troops to and from Zalingei in Darfur, Republic of Sudan.