The United Nations, on Thursday, decorated 187 Rwandan Police peacekeepers serving in its mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) with the ‘UN Service Medal of Honor.’
The medal is in recognition for their outstanding contribution to peace, safety and security in world’s new nation.
Those decorated include a female dominated Rwanda Formed Police Unit Three (RWAFPU-3) contingent of 160 officers deployed in June last year, and 27 officers serving as Individual Police Officers (IPOs).
The medal parade ceremony held in RWAFPU-3 based camp in the capital Juba was presided over by the UNMISS Deputy Special Representative of Secretary General (DSRSG), Mustapha Soumare.
The ceremony also attended by UNMISS Deputy Police Commissioner Brig Gen. Mutasem Aljadid Almajali, South Sudan Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP), Lt Gen. James Pui Yak among any other high-ranking officials.
Mr. Soumare thanked the Government of Rwanda for the continued commitment to international peace and empowering women to be part of peacekeeping.
“Rwanda is the largest contributor of female police peacekeepers, which is a pride,” Soumare said.
He added: “Today, we recognize and thank Rwanda’s contingent of 160 police officers and 28 IPOs for their selfless service with UNMISS, I commend your dedication and commitment in one of the most challenging peacekeeping in the world.”
“The collective efforts of both Rwanda FPU and IPOs are essential to the success of UNMISS. It’s remarkable and a pride to see women standing with their brothers, an evident that your response to this appeal has been nothing short of world leading” he said.
UNMISS DSRSG, Mustapha Soumare arriving for the medal ceremony.
In her remarks, RWAFPU-3 contingent commander Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Teddy Ruyenzi thanked Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda for “believing in women and to contribute a female FPU, and for having confidence in us.”
“We also thank the UN for recognizing the essence of women participation in peacekeeping operations and accepting the deployment of RWAFPU3 with a big number of female officers,” Ruyenzi said.
She recognized the support, encouragement, cooperation and guidance rendered by all stakeholders to enable them fulfill their tasks.
RWAFPU-3 undertook varied peacekeeping responsibilities including providing security and protection to VIPs, ensuring safety and security for two civilian camps as well as supporting humanitarian activities.
Other special assignments include biometric registration and escort of primary and secondary school students from camps to Juba town for national examinations, and responding to security incidents.