A joint retreat for three United Nations missions of Darfur (UNAMID), South Sudan (UNMISS) and Abyei (UNISFA) opened yesterday at RNP’s headquarters in Kacyiru. Bringing together senior UN officials to discuss peace and security in the three neighbouring missions.
Participants in the 3-day retreat include police commissioners, and senior police advisors, chiefs of staff, chiefs of operations and all essential staff members from the three missions.
While officially opening the retreat, inspector general of police Emmanuel K. Gasana commended the sacrifice, dedication and commitment of peacekeepers and their perseverance to bring about peace.
“Peace is the most important single factor in human life. Rwanda has had its own share of turmoil; we had a doomsday of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi,” Gasana said. “We lost over one million people; it required a visionary leader to move from the shocks of Genocide to recovery, and to the current state of transformation and stability.”
He added that 23 years later, Rwanda has picked up from almost nothing to taking very big socioeconomic and political strides towards sustainable development.
“Today, one of the most cherished preoccupations is to contribute in bringing peace where it is needed most in the world,” he said.
He called for harmonization of generic concepts, approaches, training and doctrines, and strategic actions that enhance the overall operational capabilities in dealing with contemporary crime threats.
The police chief further highlighted new phenomenon of violent extremism, public order management, cybercrime, gender-based violence and armed groups as the main challenges faced by law enforcement agencies and even in UN fields of command, which require capacity building to adapt to reality.
The UN deputy police advisor, Shaowen Yang, said that their discussions will mainly focus on the strategic and operational issues and challenges faced by the three missions.
“We are focusing on cooperation between the three missions regarding information sharing, strategic and operational strategies, approaches and exchange of best practices and lessons learnt,” Yang said.
“We are also looking at some strategic and policy issues regarding reform and new initiatives by the UN peacekeeping operations, mission settings, implementation of mandates, protection of civilians and UN staff, policing strategies, and streamlining it in the whole political process in maintaining peace and order, and to facilitate the political solution to conflicts in mission areas,” he added.
He thanked the RNP for its strong support.
“We are also looking forward to work with the Rwanda National Police to share their experiences and best practices, and to closer cooperation and further future contribution from RNP to UN peacekeeping operations,” he said.
Rwanda maintains close to 1200 police peacekeepers in five UN missions, with 484 of them deployed in South Sudan, Darfur and Abyei.