In an interview, the contingent commander confides that her force has been “well prepared and ready to carry out any challenging tasks,” citing Protection of Civilian sites (POCs), which constitutes a bigger part of their mandate.
“Gender based violence is still a matter of concern especially in conflict countries, and we will also approach it with utmost urgency it deserves,” Chief Supt. Ruyenzi says.
She was quick to add that the contingent does not anticipate any challenges because of the vast policing experience back home and knowledge of employing community policing methods in maintaining security and peace
“These female officers are well prepared and ready to confront any threat that may threaten the security of mainly women and children in internally displaced camps,” she said.
The female FPU contingent will, apart from providing general security to the civilian population, ensure women issues in civilian sites are attended to appropriately.
She also said that the contingent has been equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge required for such tasks and “looks forward to contributing to restoration of hope to devastated communities.”
“We have female officers with skills in manning heavy duty vehicles and policing hardware to control any form of violence such as riots,” she said.
“Children, women and families in general, suffer most as a result of the conflicts; female peacekeepers would help them in a recovery from conflicts that uses child soldiers and rape as a weapon of war.”
As part of enhanced preparedness, UNMISS Police Commissioner, CP Bruce Munyambo, who is currently in Kigali, briefed the all-female contingent on the challenges that lay ahead which he said “can be triumphed upon with personal and collective discipline.”
“It is expected that all UN police personnel would dedicate themselves to their work, and be courteous but firm and professional in all their dealings with the public,” CP Munyambo told the officers.
The female contingent reflects how further Rwanda responds to international peace in the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 1325 that stressed the important role women can play in peacekeeping and conflict resolution.
The UN resolution calls for more women in decision-making positions, a gendered perspective to be “mainstreamed” across peacekeeping and for more women to participate in field operations as police and as human rights observers.
Rwanda’s commitment to international peace can also be defined by the current deployments where the country maintains over 1000 police officers in seven UN missions, including four FPU contingents and a Protection Support Unit (PSU), each composed of 140 officers.
Two FPU and a PSU contingents are deployed in Central African Republic while one each is deployed in Haiti and South Sudan.
Others officers serve as Individual Police Officers (IPOs), who serve as mentors and advisers. Rwanda has also seconded senior officers in various Professional posts.
The Express News