KIGALI, Rwanda - A new group of Rwandan peacekeeping forces headed from Kigali to Darfur, Sudan, to replace soldiers headed back to Rwanda.
A battalion of 88 Rwandan Defense Forces soldiers flew a Miami Air plane from Rwanda to Sudan on Tuesday, The New Times of Kigali reported.
"Our protective forces have been instructed to protect the lives of displaced innocent civilians in camps and leaders among other observers of the Darfur peace process," military spokesman Maj. Jill Rutaremara told The New Times.
"It is not only a matter of ensuring security of the displaced populations and other observers. We have told the soldiers to be vigilant and use all the necessary means to defend themselves in case their own security is threatened," Rutaremara said.
Rwanda has about 2,000 military troops and 50 civilian police officers stationed in Darfur. The Rwandan soldiers are part of a 7,000-member African Union peacekeeping force in Sudan.
It is estimated that more than 200,000 people have been killed another 2.5 million displaced in the troubled region.
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