UN awards Rwandan Police officers in S. Sudan
Written by: Administrator
Tuesday, February 20th, 2018, 7:09
183 Rwandan police officers, including 30 women were on Monday awarded UN medals for having served in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan with diligence and dedication.
“Your work has had a positive impact on the lives of tens of thousands of South Sudanese civilians,”, Moustapha Soumaré, Deputy Head of the peacekeeping mission and the guest of honour, said as the medals were handed out on behalf of the UN Secretary-General.
The Rwandan Formed Police Unit 2, consisting of 160 officers, arrived in South Sudan in April 2017, followed by an additional 23 individual police officers last July. They have all been based in the capital Juba, where their main tasks have been city patrols and public order management in the UN mission’s protection sites for civilians seeking shelter. In total, Rwanda has approximately 2,600 uniformed personnel, police and troops, serving in South Sudan.
Inspector of police Maurice Nyierema, one of the deserving medal recipients at the ceremony, said that his mother country’s recent history (the 1994 genocide) has played in important part in his decision to serve as a peacekeeper.
“What happened in Rwanda makes my conviction stronger that we cannot allow something like that to happen ever again, in any place of the world”, he said.
Mr. Nyierema also stressed the importance of having female police officers serving the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.
“They allow us to do a better job because we are working in an area [the protection sites] with many women and children. Female officers have a greater sensitivity when it comes to issues particular to women and can identify with them as fellow sisters.”
Those attending the medal parade ceremony were also treated to an extended cultural performance including singing, drumming and dancing. There was much rejoicing indeed.