RUBAVU — The United States government has committed itself to extend more support in form of combat equipment to the country’s marine forces.
Maj. Ronald Miller, the US Defence and Army attaché at the US Embassy in Rwanda revealed the development recently during the pass out ceremony for 16 marine officers.
The officers had completed a four -week training in basic small boat operation and international Maritime Law enforcement.
The ceremony took place at Rubavu Marine barracks.
The 16 marine officers and eight students who also underwent the training were awarded certificates for successfully completing the course.
“Peace and security are very fundamental for development. That is why the US will continuously support Rwandan Marines through providing assistance in terms of equipments and knowledge,” Miller explained.
In his speech, Brig. Gen. Frank Rusagara who represented the Rwanda Defence Forces Chief of General Staff, Gen. James Kabarebe, thanked the United States for its continuous support and partnership with Rwanda towards peace building.
“This is a big support because knowledge is the best tool in development and security upholding. The international law will help our marines to know what to do in case of any misunderstanding between them and those from the neighboring DRC since both countries share Lake Kivu.
Rusagara cautioned the participants against immoralities.
“You should know that you can achieve your duties of maintaining peace and security to Rwandans only when you are healthy. You should always be on the look out so that you don’t acquire dangerous diseases like HIV/AIDS,” he said.
Col. Firmin Bayingana, the commander and head of Marine division, said the course was conducted by four US coastal guard trainers who were assisted by one Rwandan marine officer who worked as their language assistant.
He said that participants acquired useful skills on how to effectively and efficiently operate small boats by knowing crew responsibilities, how to assess risks and try to minimize them.
Other skills taught include, maintenance of small boats as well as knowledge on protecting important resources both in water and on the shores.
“I call upon the participants to share the acquired knowledge with the rest especially on Maritime international law, ant-water smuggling techniques, vessel and boat operations as well as water defensive and offensive techniques against any enemy or subject,” he told the participants.