British military chief hails DRC operation

KIGALI - The Chief of General Staff (CGS) of the British Army, Gen. Sir Richard Dannatt, has given full support to the ongoing joint operation by the joint Rwanda-DRC military offensive against negative forces in eastern Democratic Republic of  Congo (DRC).
Gen. Kabarebe with Gen Richard Dannatt, the British CGS following the former’s arrival at Kigali International Airport yesterday. (Photo/ G. Barya).
Gen. Kabarebe with Gen Richard Dannatt, the British CGS following the former’s arrival at Kigali International Airport yesterday. (Photo/ G. Barya).

KIGALI - The Chief of General Staff (CGS) of the British Army, Gen. Sir Richard Dannatt, has given full support to the ongoing joint operation by the joint Rwanda-DRC military offensive against negative forces in eastern Democratic Republic of  Congo (DRC).

Shortly after holding talks with the Chief of Defence Staff of Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) Gen James Kabarebe, Dannatt said that he was impressed by Rwanda’s professional peace mission.

“Rwanda should keep the pressure against negative forces, it is the way to restore full peace in the region,” he encouraged.
The joint operation code-named ‘Umoja Wetu’ (Our unity) is made up of troops from Rwanda and DRC and is being carried out against remnants of perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda who have occupied the region for over a decade.

The offensive against these forces that are now grouped under the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) was launched last month and has, according to officials from the Defence Ministry, registered ‘tremendous achievements.’

Gen. Kabarebe pointed out that his discussions with Dannatt tackled several areas raging from regional security to partnership between the two military organisations.

Asked about Dannatt’s reaction on the ongoing Umoja Wetu operation, Kabarebe said that “he welcomed the operation and expressed full support.”

During the closed door meeting, Kabarebe said he had also briefed Dannatt on  the progress of RDF peacekeeping mission in Darfur.

The United Nations Mission in Darfur is currently lacking in equipment and troops to become robust and according to Kabarebe, Dannatt “promised that his country would look into possible ways for supporting the mission.”

To date, Britain is one of the main contributors in professionalisation of the Rwandan military and according to Kabarebe, they have now pledged to increase support in form of training.

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