Rwandan heads UN mission to South Sudan

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The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in South Sudan and the head of the UN peacekeeping mission, David Shearer, on Monday announced the arrival of Lt Gen Frank Mushyo Kamanzi of Rwanda as Force Commander of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Lt Gen Frank Mushyo Kamanzi

Kamanzi was assigned this task by the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on April 6th.

He commands a force with an authorised strength of 17,000 peacekeepers drawn from 55 different countries. He reports directly to the head of the Mission and is responsible for all military activities in support of the Mission’s mandate to protect civilians.

“Lieutenant General Kamanzi brings to the position more than 28 years of national and international military experience. Before his most recent appointment as the Force Commander of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID),he served as Army Chief of Staff in the Rwanda Defence Forces between 2012 and 2015,” a UN statement reads in part.

Previously Gene Kamanzi also served as Commander of the Rwanda Military Academy (2010-2012) and commanded an infantry brigade (2007-2010). He held the position of Deputy Force Commander in the African Union Mission in Sudan (2006-2007) and also served as a member of Joint Military Commission, Lusaka Peace Process for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (1999-2000).

Lt Gen Kamanzi has a master’s degree in national security strategy from the National Defense University in Washington DC, and a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Makerere University in Kampala.

He is a graduate of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Jaji, Nigeria, and the Army Command College in Nanjing, China.

Born in Uganda in 1964, Lt Gen Kamanzi is married and with five children.

Rwanda presently maintains over 1,800 peacekeepers as part of UNMISS. The UN is in the process to speed up deployment of 4,000 extra troops of a Regional Protection Force earlier mandated by the Security Council.