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Rwanda deploys Mechanised Infantry Battalion and owned equipment to UNMISS

Kigali, 10 February 2018

Contingent owned equipment crossing Gatuna border to Uganda

The Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) has today started the deployment of the Main Body and equipment belonging to the Mechanised Infantry battalion that will be part of the newly established Regional Protection Force (RPF) under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The 920-strong Mechanized Infantry Battalion, led by Col Frank Karakire, will deploy its personnel and equipment for a period of one month by air and road up to 9 March 2018.

The Main Body’s first batch (270 troops) of the Mechanised Infantry battalion departed from Kigali International Airport today at around 1000hrs local time.

Before their departure, they were briefed by the 1st Division Commander, Maj Gen Mubaraka Muganga on behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) who urged them to remain very vigilant and focused on their mission and also maintain a very high level of discipline.

Contingent owned equipment here on Uganda soil after crossing Gatuna border post

They are joining their colleagues, a Reconnaissance Infantry Company that deployed as the Mechanised Battalion’s Advance Party back in August 2017 to UNMISS – Juba in the capital of South Sudan.

On 12 August 2016, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2304 (2016) authorizing the deployment of a Regional Protection Force (RPF) in support of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan to provide a secure environment in and around Juba. The RDF Spokesperson, Lt Col Innocent Munyengango explained to the media that this deployment is in that line and follows a request from the United Nations (UN) to deploy a Rwandan Mechanised Infantry Battalion as part of RPF.

With this newly deployed Mechanised Infantry Battalion, RDF maintains 3 Infantry Battalions and 1 Aviation Unit under UNMISS with a total strength of 2,793. Other peacekeeping missions supported by RDF are those in Sudan (UNAMID) and Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

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