The first batch of the 850 Rwanda Troops travelled to the Central Africa Republic (CAR) to help restore peace to the presently war tone country on Thursday.
The troops departed from Kigali on January 16, with U.S. military cargo jet planes that will transport more Rwandan peacekeepers to CAR.
The airlift operation of the Rwandan Peacekeepers facilitated by a US Military aircraft (C-17) was launched by the Chief of Defence Staff of RDF, Gen Patrick Nyamvumba accompanied by US ambassador H.E Donald W. Koran, US diplomatic corps and senior leadership of RDF.
The US Support to the deployment of RDF is in the bilateral interests of supporting the African union Mission in Central African Republic with mandate to.
The troops will help protect civilians, restore security and public order, stabilise the country and restore state authority, support reform and restructuring of the defence and security, and create conducive conditions to the provision of humanitarian assistance to the population in need.
“Rwanda Defence Forces reiterates its sincere gratitude to the US for the invaluable support in providing strategic airlifts and associated logistical support for the deployment of the Peacekeeping Force to CAR,” said General Patrick Nyamvumba, RDF Chief of Defence Staff.
Brigadier General Joseph Nzabamwita the Spokesperson of the Rwanda Defence Force, said that RDF Peacekeepers are being deployed in MISCA to contribute to the protection of civilians, peace and stability in the Central African Republic.
“Rwanda deploys troops amid remembrance of 20 years after 1994 Genocide against Tutsi whereby the people of Rwanda were abandoned by International Community.
“Rwanda deploys its troops with a resolve of the Government and the people of Rwanda that we should play our humble role of contributing to peace and security, given the “Responsibility to Protect Principle” and “Never Again” as a result of lessons learnt, when it comes to protection of civilians facing danger, said N.
The RDF deployment follows a decision of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of African Union held on 19 July 2013 and the United Nations Security Council’s Resolution 2127 (2013) of 5 December 2013 which authorized the establishment and deployment of the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic.
The airlift for troops and equipment will last for 20 days.
Although MISCA is a new mission, the RDF continues to participate in other missions under African Union-United Nations Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).
Rwanda currently maintains more than 4,000 peacekeepers in various missions and is presently ranked the 6th biggest troop contributor in UN peacekeeping operations.