Kigali, Thursday 30 August 2018
Rwanda Air force today deployed for the seventh time a fresh Rwanda Aviation Unit (RAU 7) of 165 military personnel to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). This aviation unit has and will continue to carry out mainly air movement of UNMISS personnel, cargo movement, rotating military troops, inserting and extracting UNMISS infantry troops in and from remote areas, performing medical evacuations and also conducting reconnaissance missions.
In his briefing message to the peacekeepers, Major Gen Charles Karamba, the Air Force Chief of Staff challenged them to maintain maximum discipline since they will be representing the RDF’ image and Rwanda in general.
“You have been well prepared for the mission and during your tour of duty, you are required to exhibit the highest level of integrity. You’re expected to serve to the best of your ability and with maximum discipline,” General Karamba said.
Lt Col Charles Baguma the Commanding Officer of RAU7 said that together with other members of the unit under his command are well equipped and ready to accomplish the assigned mission.
“This is a peacekeeping duty that we have been well prepared for and we will build on the achievements of RAU6 that we are replacing,” he said.
Part of the relieved contingent headed by Major Pascal Mutabazi, the deputy contingent commander also arrived at Kigali International Airport today at about 11: 30am. Major Mutabazi applauded the unit for its professional conduct and successful mandate.
“We are happy that we have all come back home safe, with dignity having accomplished the mission our country tasked us with, which is protect and ensure safety of those affected by conflict in South Sudan” Maj Mutabazi noted. The outgoing RAU6 is led by Lt Col Alex Kayisire.
Currently, Rwanda is the fourth biggest troop contributing country in support of United Nations peace support operations and RDF maintains five infantry battalions, a mechanised infantry battalion, a mechanised infantry battle group an aviation unit and specialised field hospital, all serving under UNAMID, UNMISS and MINUSCA with a total of 5,859 military personnel both men and women.