•Urges RDF to use experience to enhance Rwanda’s transformation
KIMIHURURA - President Paul Kagame yesterday visited the Ministry of Defence and met with the leadership of the Rwanda Defence Forces, including 300 commanding officers and staff officers.
After the introductory remarks from the Minister of Defence, Gen. Marcel Gatsinzi, President Kagame addressed the RDF members and engaged them in an interactive discussion on a wide range of issues concerning the institution.
President Kagame commended the RDF for attaining a good level of professionalism but stressed that the military had a mission and role much broader than that of a defense force, originating from its history and background in the liberation struggle.
He pointed out that more was expected from Rwanda’s military, particularly in efforts towards the social and economic transformation of Rwanda.
President Kagame said that because of the central role of the RDF in Rwanda’s development, members of the force must consistently work for, acquire and entrench the qualities, standards and discipline required to achieve the set goals.
“That is what the RDF demands, what every member should demand of themselves and what I will demand from you,” he said.
He said that RDF, like other institutions in the country, should continually modernize in all areas, maintain high standards and make the best use of available resources in order to better respond to the needs and ambitions of the country.
The Head of State pointed out that many members of the RDF were among those who had decided to sacrifice almost everything in order to fearlessly confront an entrenched system of tyranny and injustice, and that having succeeded in restoring the fundamental rights of all Rwandans to live in peace in a stable country, they were obligated to continue to play a catalytic role in the country’s development and shape its future, based on their original commitment.
President Kagame called upon the RDF to actively guard its reputation of honor and to make good use of its proven commitment and experience to be at the forefront of resolving national challenges, including the government’s ongoing fight against corruption.
In particular, he urged professionals within the RDF, such as medical doctors, to play a strong role in developing their professions alongside their civilian peers.
Discussions during the interactive session included issues of housing, salaries and benefits, training and regional collaboration.