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RDF activities in Darfur transcend Peacekeeping!

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RDF activities in Darfur transcend Peacekeeping!

Post by Mazy on Sat Jul 13 2013, 16:53

This article I thought shows what can be done with a little TLC God Bless these people.
RDF ACTIVITIES IN DARFUR TRANSCEND PEACEKEEPING
Sheikh Ally is one of the beneficiaries of an improved stove courtesy of RDF peacekeepers in Al Salam IDP camp, Darfur.

Rwandan peacekeepers in Sudan’s Darfur region, have done more than just keeping peace.  Their other socio-economic activities such as engagements in health, water and sanitation projects in order to improve the living conditions of the locals has left Darfuris in awe.

The writer with students of Altwaiba Secondary School in North Darfur. All photos by Bonnie Mugabe.

It is almost 10 years since Rwanda deployed peacekeepers in the war ravaged western Sudan region of Darfur.
But although the core mandate of the peacekeepers, under, Unamid, is to protect civilians, the Rwandan contingent has gone further by engaging the locals socio-economic initiatives that have impacted on their lives.

Unamid is the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur, to which Rwanda has contributed over 3,200 peacekeepers.

In El-Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state, residents are all praises of the Rwandan peacekeepers.
They say, for instance that by replicating Rwanda’s home-made, post conflict initiatives,  the peacekeepers in El-Fasher have significantly helped Darfuris rebuild their lives.

Also, some residents of North Darfur, where Rwanda maintains the biggest presence of peacekeepers, attest that the existing good relations between Rwandan peacekeepers and Sudanese citizens is based on high discipline, professionalism and humanitarian services manifested by RDF peacekeepers since 2004. Rwanda was the first country to send peacekeepers to Darfur.

RDF peacekeepers have embarked on projects aimed at rebuilding lives of the Darfuris such as making bricks for construction of schools, introduction of community work (Umuganda), clean-up operations, construction of energy-saving cooking stoves (rondereza), and construction of critical infrastructure such as schools, markets, roads in mission zones.

Sheikh Ally Abdallah Ally, a community leader and one of the beneficiaries of energy-saving cooking stoves constructed by RWANBATT 37 at Al Salam Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs),  thanked Unamid for its role in not only bringing peace to the region but also improving their lives.

Thankful
“I am so thankful to the Rwandan soldiers who have combined peacekeeping with projects that have helped to positively change our ways of living. These stoves have helped us a lot in this camp. It has even reduced the risk of our women being raped while searching for firewood. I wish the project can be extended to every household in North Darfur,” Sheikh Ally told The New Times recently.

“Before we started using these stoves, our wives would walk to far-flung areas in search for wood and we would actually eat once a day but when the stoves were constructed, we started having three meals.”

At Al Salam IDP, the peacekeepers have become ‘brothers and sisters’ of the locals.
Ahmed Abubaker Muhamed, a local resident attributed this to the fact that the peacekeepers have helped rebuilt their lives ‘which had been ruined by those closer to us.’

“How can someone leave their country, go on a peacekeeping mission and then help a totally different community improve its living conditions through several development projects? In my life, I have never seen such brotherly act and I pray that Allah bless them abundantly,” Muhamed said.

Last year, Rwandan peacekeepers engaged in  Quick Impact Projects including schools for Abushouk Internal Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp.

The peacekeepers also constructed a perimeter wall at Altwaiba Girls Secondary School. The school has a population of 1,000 female students.

Plans are now underway to construct modern toilets for the students in a bid to improve hygiene.
Osman Adam Yahya, the school director, could not hide his joy, saying RWANBATT 37 has now ensured the girls, acquire good education and ‘be able to realize their future ambitions’.

Health, other projects
“The school was constructed on Chinese aid but Rwandan soldiers came in and constructed the whole fence. This has helped boost school security. Now they are going to construct for us latrines. What more can we ask of them?” he said.

The peacekeepers are also involved in health, water and sanitation projects in order to help improve the living conditions of the locals.

However, the Rwanda Contingent Commander, Col. Ludovik Mugisha downplayed their impact, saying they have not yet achieved their target.

“The state of security in North Darfur is slightly better. I cannot say it is 100 per cent okay but compared to how it was a few years ago, there is some kind of improvement. That’s why North Darfur was able to host Cecafa Kagame Cup championships this year,” he said, referring to the regional soccer tournament that was hosted in the region last month.
“There are no more random shootings unlike in previous years when it used to happen on  a daily basis.”

Mugisha added that apart from providing security, which is their main mandate, they saw it fit to engage in social protection activities like constructing schools. These projects have built strong relationship between the peacekeepers and local community to the extent that there is an IDP camp in Tawila which was named “Rwanda Camp”.

There are also some Sudanese who have also learnt Kinyarwanda and others who have taken on Rwandan names. Also, some areas have been named after Rwandan suburbs, such as Nyamirambo.

“I think Darfuris are happy with Rwandans because of the shared activities, ideas and general impact. The relationship between Darfuris and Rwandans is good. It is for this reason that some have actually asked to come and settle in Rwanda,” Mugisha said.

Rwanda and peacekeeping
Rwanda is the sixth major peacekeepers contributing country to the UN, with over 4,000 troops, 400 police (150 female officers), and 13 military observers serving in different countries like South Sudan, Sudan, Haiti, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau and Ivory Coast.

The country is the second highest contributor of female police officers worldwide and the first highest contributor of female police officers in Africa.

Rwandan peacekeepers in Darfur have introduced aggressive peacekeeping and used women peacekeepers for protection of vulnerable women and girls in situations of conflict and engaged in activities aimed at fostering conflict resolution mechanisms which have directly impacted lives in Darfur.

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Zen


Last edited by theminis on Wed Jul 17 2013, 02:18; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fixed title)

Mazy
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Re: RDF activities in Darfur transcend Peacekeeping!

Post by theminis on Sat Jul 13 2013, 17:34

Excellent article, peacekeepers do deserve to be blessed

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Re: RDF activities in Darfur transcend Peacekeeping!

Post by party animal - not! on Sat Jul 13 2013, 17:45

Extraordinary given what Rwanda went through.

Totally agree with your thoughts, Themi. If only there were more of them....

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Re: RDF activities in Darfur transcend Peacekeeping!

Post by Maggy on Sat Jul 13 2013, 20:58

Thanks Mazy.

Inspiring reading!

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Re: RDF activities in Darfur transcend Peacekeeping!

Post by mosaic on Sat Jul 13 2013, 20:59

Wow, just wow. Thank you for posting this, Mazy. It is so good to see some positive coming to this torn region....but especially from Rwanda. God Bless them.

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Re: RDF activities in Darfur transcend Peacekeeping!

Post by party animal - not! on Sat Jul 13 2013, 21:49

Oh God. Latest news on the BBC. Seven peacekeepers killed and 17 injured in Darfur

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Re: RDF activities in Darfur transcend Peacekeeping!

Post by melbert on Sat Jul 13 2013, 21:53

NO!!! Damn them all to hell who are causing this to happen!

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Re: RDF activities in Darfur transcend Peacekeeping!

Post by party animal - not! on Sat Jul 13 2013, 21:57

Well, I could take a very educated guess.........need to hear more on it tho........the thin blue line gets thinner..........

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Re: RDF activities in Darfur transcend Peacekeeping!

Post by it's me on Sat Jul 13 2013, 23:13

Peacekeepers are heroes

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Re: RDF activities in Darfur transcend Peacekeeping!

Post by Juliette Hardy on Sun Jul 14 2013, 19:46

Rwanda is such a small country in area compared to the Republic of Congo, Kenya, Tanzania & Sudan.
And to the think it is the 6th major peacekeeping nation in the UN. There must be a lot of regulation since its own establishment of the International Criminal Tribuanal of Rwanda.

It was plagued with mass genocide of various tribes up until 20 odd years ago. Only in the last decade has it experienced HPI & economic growth.
Foreign aid has helped.

Perhaps Darfur will experience the same soon.

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Re: RDF activities in Darfur transcend Peacekeeping!

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