United States Pushes for Rwanda-style Peacekeeping Operations, Reports KT Press.
The United Nations "should draw lessons from the leadership of Rwanda" as it prepares a comprehensive review of peacekeeping to better protect civilians in conflict hotspots, the United States says.
The UN is currently gripped with growing demand to address increased deadly conflicts in various countries such as Central Africa, Mali, Sudan, Ukraine, and the Gaza strip.
A contingency of 12,000 peacekeepers led by the African Union is currently battling an insurgency of ethnic and religious militias in the Central African Republic.
For US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, Rwanda "knows what it takes to protect civilians". "When the first killings began in Rwanda in the spring of 1994, Romeo Dallaire – the UN force commander there at the time – appealed for reinforcements," said Power on July 28 at a UN Security Council debate on regional partnership and its evolution in UN peacekeeping.
Power believes contributing countries can draw lessons from Rwanda. "Rwandans understand the importance of getting peacekeeping right," she said.
Rwandan troops were among the first boots on the ground when conflicts erupted in the Central Africa Republic and S. Sudan.
The country has deployed more than 4,000 peacekeepers in various missions, and ranked 6th, globally among the biggest troop contributors.
Meanwhile UN faces logistical and tactical challenges for its Regional and International Peacekeeping missions.
The challenges range from training and equipping to airlifting the Peacekeepers. The Security Council urged Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to review peacekeeping bottlenecks in CAR and how it could be done better in future deployments.
The US says it will maintain its support for regional missions. The African Union (AU) Mission in Somalia receives more than US$500m and US$166 million toward equipment and training for the African contingents deploying to the UN mission in Mali.
The US trains Rwandan troops serving in different peacekeeping missions through the 'Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA), which also in return trains other troops from 17 Countries.
Rwanda maintains peacekeepers – military and police - in different countries, including Sudan, South Sudan, Liberia, Mali; Haiti and Central African Republic.
The US has also been airlifting Rwandan Peacekeepers including the recent 850 Rwandan troops and their equipment to Bangui in the Central African Republic.
For Media Enquiries, Contact:
By Dan Ngabonziza
+250 788 668 509
SOURCE KT Press
KIGALI, Rwanda, July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --