Rwanda Defence Force has concluded the relief in place for its peacekeepers deployed under United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
The last group of 120 peacekeepers of 49 Infantry Battalion landed on 13 December 2016 at Kigali International Airport, aboard a RwandAir Aircraft, at around 14:00 Hrs.
The just concluded relief in place exercise, during which three RDF Battalions serving under UNAMID were replaced by three other Battalions, had started on 24 November 2016.
On his arrival with the returning group, Lt Col David Murenzi, 49 Bn Commanding Officer, revealed that their mission was a success. “We have successfully accomplished our mission by restoring security in different areas of Darfur previously inaccessible due to persistent conflicts”, Lt Col Murenzi said.
He added that they also conducted different activities aimed at bringing hope to the people of Darfur such as construction of schools, distribution of school materials, water harvesting tanks and mosquito nets to those in need, especially internal displaced people (IDPs).
On 20 November 2016, 49 Bn handed over a school block for nursery with capacity to accommodate 40 children, constructed for GARSILA IDP Camp of Nertiti Community in Darfur.
The returning RDF soldiers were received, on behalf of RDF Chief of Defence Staff, by the Ag 1 Division Commander, Brig Gen Denis Rutaha. Gen Rutaha congratulated them for discipline and the job well done throughout their one year tour of duty.
“RDF leadership is well informed of your good conduct and how people in Darfur as well as the UNAMID leadership itself commended the discipline and good service you rendered”, he told the returning peacekeepers. He further urged them to continue upholding the same values that shaped Rwanda Defence Force.
Rwanda maintains 6 Battalions in various peacekeeping missions, 1 Aviation Unit in South Sudan (UNMISS), as well as a Level 2 Hospital in Central Africa Republic (MINUSCA). Rwanda is currently ranked fifth largest troop and police contributing country to UN Peacekeeping Missions globally.