Rwandan peacekeeping in Darfur, W. Sudan was boosted with equipment worth US$20 million
November 29, 2008 report from APA-Kigali (Rwanda):
Rwanda-Darfur Redeployments: Rwanda commits more than 150 peacekeepers to Darfur
More than 150 troops from the 19th Battalion of the Rwandan Army left Kigali Friday morning for Sudan’s war-ravaged region of Darfur as part of the general rotational exercise of its 3,200 strong peace contingent, that have been maintaining peace in that region for a year now.
The departure of the 19th Battalion commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Rugigana Ngabo is part of the redeployment exercise that started at the end of October and is slated to be completed by December 18, according to the Rwandan military spokesman Major Jill Rutaremara, in an interview with APA at Kigali International airport.
The departure of the troops followed the arrival in Kigali of about 150 more troops that operated under the auspices of the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) on Sunday.
According to Rutaremara, the new contingent of peacekeepers is replacing those whose mandated peacekeeping time of twelve months has expired. “There is nothing unusual expected of them but to continue from where their colleagues have stopped, provide peace and security for another twelve months to the Darfur people as they are mandated,” Maj. Rutaremara said.
According to the Rwandan military, with the new UN peacekeeping mission guidelines, each battalion is supposed to have about 800 soldiers, contrary to the normal battalion capacity of 680. The troops equipped with all infantry weapons for protection ranging from individual rifles to infantry support weapons, will be stationed in the west sector of Darfur region.
The four battalions for Darfur redeployment have been undergoing intensive training at Gako Military Academy supervised by US military experts in various peacekeeping skills and weapon handling. Two battalions have already left in the rotational exercise for the Darfur mission.
The US funds the Rwandan peacekeeping in Darfur at a tune of about US$7 million. Early September, the Rwanda military peace mission was boosted with equipment worth US$20 million. - SN/daj/APA