The Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) in conjunction with the African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) held a Peace Support Operations (PSO) Lessons Learned Workshop from 19th – 20th April 2018 at the RDF Headquarters.
The PSO Lessons Learned Workshop is an Annual Event that is conducted after tours of duty of the RDF Contingents deployed in United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Central Africa (MINUSCA), African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
The workshop was aimed at capturing mission experiences from the recently returned contingents in form of challenges and best practices that should inform continuous improvement of PSO pre-deployment training.
In his closing remarks, the RDF Chief of Defence Staff, General Patrick Nyamvumba urged workshop participants to always protect Civilians under their area of responsibility. He underscored that to be a good peacekeeper one has first of all to be a good soldier and while protecting civilians the RDF peacekeepers should always minimize collateral damage.
“First and foremost, you have received the mission. Our credibility depends on how you are ready to sacrifice, ROE might be same but the difference is in our commitment to perform that mission especially in protecting civilians”, he said. “Whatever you do collateral damage should be minimized”, he added.
In addition to the RDF officers and ACOTA participants, the workshop included other PSO pre-deployment training partners namely; the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), United States Institute of Peace (USIP), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the British Peace Support Team Eastern Africa (BPST) (EA) who attended as observers.
Currently, Rwanda is ranked the third largest UN Troop/Police Contributing Country after Ethiopia and Bangladesh.