Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) will next week deploy a motorised infantry company of 140 troops to Central African Republic to reinforce a United Nations peacekeeping force in that country, the military has said.
The deployment started with airlifting equipment on September 16, while troops’ deployment will follow on September 26, according to an RDF statement.
Rwanda already maintains a battalion of troops (750) and other personnel (some part of a Level-Two hospital and others UN staff) in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
The newly generated motorised infantry company will be temporarily (up to four months) be part of the Rwandan Battalion in Bangui, the capital of CAR, while awaiting further deployment, according to the statement.
The motorised infantry company was requested by MINUSCA to reinforce its operations and address security challenges in CAR, it added.
Motorised troops use “soft” skinned vehicles to shore up infantry in combat zones.
Following the United Nations’ request, the Government of Rwanda accepted the deployment of additional force of one Motorized Infantry Company (140 troops) to the already deployed Infantry Battalion deployed in Bangui.
The additional force, once deployed, is expected to address the recurrent attacks against the population.
Rwanda, one of the world’s largest contributors of peacekeepers, first deployed peacekeepers in Central African Republic in 2014 – 10 years after it deployed its first-ever peacekeepers (in Sudan’s Darfur region).
In CAR, Rwandan troops are specifically charged with providing security for high-ranking government officials, including the President, and securing key state installations.
The country also maintains police peacekeepers in CAR.