President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has announced extra support to peace keeping operations around the world – this time including an all-female police force.
Rwanda will contribute additional 1600 troops, two attack helicopters, a Level Two Hospital and an-all female police unit, said Kagame on Monday at the UN Leaders Summit on Peace Operations.
This pledge is an addition to over 4500 uniformed men and women Rwanda maintains in different peacekeeping missions. Rwandan troops are operating in troubled Central African Republic, Sudanese region of Darfur, Haiti and South Sudan.
At the summit hosted by US president Barack Obama, more than 50 countries stepped up and promised to contribute 30,000 new troops and police for peace missions.
UN has more than 100,000 troops and police, deployed on four continents, in often difficult conditions but the summit is asking for more.
“All of us – including those seemingly with limited resources/capacities, have meaningful contributions to make,” Kagame told the summit in New York on Monday evening.
He expressed concern over the appalling levels of abuse by peacekeepers saying “surge of abuse by peacekeepers as pointing to a deeper culture of impunity.”
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the summit that the main needs for UN Peacekeeping included: predictability, effectiveness, qualified, reliability, accountability and more.
The UN chief’s efforts aim at achieving zero tolerance policy against ‘abusive peacekeepers’.
Ban Ki-moon warned 124 countries that contribute troops and police to UN peace missions that he was ready to throw out entire peacekeeping units if their country fails to take action against soldiers accused of sexual abuse, according to reports.
Kagame noted that peacekeeping loses its meaning and relevance if there is no good relationship of trust between the protector and the protected.
“The lesson for us is that earning and keeping that trust and inspiring confidence has to be the priority,” he said adding; “Peacekeepers must not compound the problems on the ground as evidence has shown with the surge of different forms of abuse.”
President Kagame also said that effective peacekeeping requires clear mandates and shared norms as detailed in Kigali Principles on the Protection of Civilians.
For his part, President Obama said there is need to fix issues of abuse by peacekeepers saying that the current guidelines on civilian protection are unevenly implemented.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary General called for full participation of women in peace and security measures, “We must promote full participation of women in peace and security measures,” he said.
The summit provided a boost to the UN, which has been struggling to persuade countries to contribute their soldiers to peace operations.
China pledged 8,000 troops to UN Peacekeeping and $100 million to support the AU African Standby Force including; training, de-mining, engineering, medical, transport, police support.
Rwanda pledged 2 attack helicopters, level 2 hospital, all-female Formed Police Unit & 1600 troops to the UN Peacekeeping Force.
Uruguay pledged 2000 troops, aircraft, K-9 platoon for explosives, training and 12 naval vessels.
Bangladesh pledged infantry battalions, utility helicopters, engineering & riverine units, level 2 hospital, police units and offer training.
The Netherlands pledged to support protection of civilians training, intelligence capabilities & funding for planning.
Pakistan pledged infantry battalions, K-9 unit, UAV, field hospitals, transport, aviation and maintenance facilities.
Indonesia pledged 2700 troops, police in 9 missions, and training, composite battalion to United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur by end of year.
The UK Mission to the United Nations pledged 70 specialised troops in support of African Union Mission In Somalia, up to 300 troops for UN Mission in South Sudan.
India pledged 850 troops in existing or new operations; additional 03 Police units with higher representation of female peacekeepers; commitment to provide critical enablers; deployment of technical personnel in UN missions.