Rwandan peacekeepers construct school for 800 students in Darfur.

By James Karuhanga. Published 25 October, 2019

Rwandan peacekeepers operating in Sudan’s Darfur region as part of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation (UNAMID) on Wednesday handed over a newly constructed secondary school they constructed in El Salaam IDP Camp, El Fasher – Darfur.

Nusaibah Girls’ secondary school was previously constructed with rudimentary materials and had a grass roof but Rwandan battalions in the area provided their own engineers and manpower to build a modern structure with a capacity to accommodate 800 students

The school now has 14 classrooms and four offices constructed in collaboration with Rwandan Battalions and the UNAMID Christian Fellowship.

“Today we are glad to receive a complete school for our students.  The school will not only be used by El-salaam IDP camp residents but also those in the surrounding areas,” the school head teacher, Adam Suleiman Muhamad, said during handover ceremony.

Peacekeeping ‘with a difference’ has always been the commitment of Rwandan peacekeepers serving under the African Union – United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), and other UN missions, as they continue to build schools for local communities in their areas of operation.

By doing this, the army is always demonstrating that it lives by the values characterising the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) in regards to the social cooperation with the local population.

In all the UN missions where they are deployed, RDF troops introduced initiatives aimed at contributing to the local communities’ physical security and addressing pressing issues of human security as the bedrock of sustainable peace.

Initiatives such as firewood patrols, construction of energy saving stoves, and construction of schools and health centers fall into this category; on top of their core UN mandated military tasks.

Speaking during the school handover ceremony at El-salaam IDP camp, the Secretary General from the Governor’s office, Brig Gen Muhamad Ibrahim, applauded the contribution of RDF peacekeepers towards socio-economic development in the area.

He said: “This serves as a symbol of love and partnership between Rwanda and Sudan.”

Lt Col Bosco Rugema, the Commanding Officer RWANBATT 52, said that the school serves as a knot of friendship between Rwanda and Sudan.

“In Rwanda, the supporting culture is not a sign of wealth but a sign of love, value and honor.”

Rwanda has maintained peacekeepers in South Sudan ever since the creation of the peacekeeping mission.

Rwandan peacekeepers also include police officers.