Kigali, 19 December 2017
Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) completed the rotation exercise for RDF Peacekeepers serving under the African Union/United Nations Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), 53 Infantry Battalion (53Bn) replacing 37 Bn.
On 19 December 2017, the last batch of 136 RDF military of 53 Bn personnel departed from Kigali International Airport for El-Geneina heading to Zalinge, aboard RwandaAir Boing 737-800 Aircraft, while 135 of 37Bn ending their tour of duty under UNAMID were received at KIA. The rotation exercise had started on 10 December 2017.
While addressing the departing peacekeepers on behalf of the RDF leadership, the 211 Brigade Commander Col GAKUMBA Jomba urged them to uphold RDF values and act as good representatives of Rwanda. He strongly further urged them to perform their mandated duties with full commitment and professionalism throughout their stay in the mission area.
The last group of 37Bn arrived at KIA along with their Commanding Officer, Lt Col Fidel BUTARE, who reiterated that despite facing few challenges, the unit performed successfully a lot of operations. He further mentioned some of these challenges they went through that included operating on bad roads, dealing with many Internal Displaced People (IDPs) who had neither security nor human basic needs such as potable water, health services and schools for their children. “We had to protect them and at the same time provide them with some basic needs through Civil Military Activities”, concluded Lt Col Butare.
The 305 Brigade Commander Col Paul NYEMAZI while receiving 37 Inf Bn on behalf of the RDF Leadership, commended the returning peacekeepers for the job well done. He gave them an up-to-date on Rwanda’s current progress and urged them to add on their effort so that the country continues to thrive. He urged them to maintain discipline and remain ready for further duties they will be assigned to.