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Rwanda deploys female-dominated police contingent to S. Sudan

June 27, 2018 (KIGALI/JUBA) – Rwanda has deployed a contingent of 160 police officers, majority women, for a one-year peacekeeping duty under the United Nations mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

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A contingent of female Rwandan police officers (New Times photo)

The group left the capital, Kigali for South Sudan on Wednesday.

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Teddy Ruyenzi heads the group and it’s the first time Rwanda has deployed a female-led contingent.

Speaking during the pre-deployment briefing, the deputy inspector general of police in charge of operations, Dan Munyuza stressed that protecting people in need requires sacrifice and selflessness.

“Police follows the guidance by the President Paul Kagame. He has guided us to another level of knowledge of skills-based policing. We have to continue aiming higher both at home and abroad in such peacekeeping duties,” he remarked.

“Policing goes beyond individual service to teamwork,” emphasized, while urged the deployed police officers to be defined by discipline, commitment, respect for each other and superiors in particular.

The deployed contingent was pledged by President Paul Kagame during the UN leaders’ summit on peacekeeping operations in 2015.

Meanwhile the commander of the 160 police officers said more than a year was spent on training and preparing for South Sudan mission.

“As an FPU [Formed Police Unit] composed of mainly women, we were also trained on how to support the vulnerable groups like women, girls and children; you know in conflicts these are the most affected groups. Ideally, women and girls are more open when speaking to fellow women,” Ruyenzi told The New Times.

She further added “Beyond usual physical policing, we will also go an extra mile to be a practical voice in the fight against sexual and gender based violence that is most common in conflict zones.”

The deployed FPU contingent brings the number of contingents in various missions to seven with a combined 1120 police officers.

(ST)