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RDF 31 Infantry Battalion starts tour of duty in CAR

Kigali, 28 February 2019

Rwanda Defence Force continues rotation of 31 Infantry Battalion (Rwanbatt6) with 3 Infantry Battalion (Rwanbatt5) deployed in Central African Republic under the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

Led by the Commanding Officer (CO), Lt Col Vincent Ntazinda, the first batch of 250 officers, men and women of 31 Inf Bn (RwanBatt6) were airlifted on 28 February 2019 aboard RwandAir from Kigali to Bangui.

During one year tour of duty in CAR RwanBatt5 registered different achievement such as protecting the president of CAR and first family, greatly reduced intercommunal clashes, conducted community work (umuganda) with the local population as a home grown solution, conducted joint day and night patrols, portrayed a good image of their country by selling their culture to the world, conducted CIMIC meetings to find solutions for the problems in 3rd district and FATIMA church, RwanBatt5 was recently decorated with different medals by HE president of CAR Professor Faustin Archange TOUADERA in recognition for the remarkable role in bringing peace to CAR, among others.

On behalf of the RDF Chief of Defence Staff; Lt Gen Jacques Musemakweli, the Army Chief of Staff (ACOS) urged the deployed contingent (RwanBatt6) to maintain high discipline and be “professionals” as CAR people have a good reputation on RDF troops. 

“Don’t tarnish our country’s image, work as a team, take care of RDF equipments, keep RDF spirit in your mind, follow orders, work hard, and be focused on your mission”, said Lt Gen Musemakweli at Kami Military Barracks.

The deployment will run one year from the date of departure where a total of 750 troops will conduct all tasks in peacekeeping operations.

The first batch of Rwanbatt5 returning home from Bangui, arrived at Kigali International Airport around 1600Hrs aboard RwandAir aircraft, and were welcomed by Maj Gen Alex Kagame.

Rwandan Peacekeepers in MINUSCA focus their mission on protecting the president of Central Africa Republic and first family, securing M’poko International Airport, securing government key installations like Bank of Central African States (BEAC) and districts buildings, protection of Petevo oil depots, protection of civilians against all sorts of threat, protected UN personnel and installation, conducting day and night patrols in AOR, conducting confidence building patrols to win the hearts and mind of the population, securing churches and mosques during prayers, conducting various logistics and administration escorts.

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