KIGALI - Gen. William E. Ward, Commander of the United States Africa Command - U.S. AFRICOM, arrived in Rwanda yesterday afternoon for a two-day official visit.
Gen. Ward whom Army Spokesperson Maj. Jill Rutaremara noted has been in the country before, is here to enhance bilateral relations between Rwanda and the US in the defence field.
“Tomorrow, he (Ward) will meet with the CDS (Chief of Defence Staff) and, high on agenda will be enhancement of capacity in as far as peace keeping operations are concerned,” Maj. Rutaremara told reporters at Kigali International Airport.
“And I am sure they are going to discuss issues to do with training, equipment and airlifting capabilities among other things. They will also discuss a number of issues of the bilateral relationship.”
An earlier US embassy communiqué indicates that Ward is scheduled to meet the Rwandan Minister of Defence, General Marcel Gatsinzi, the Chief of Defence Staff, General James Kabarebe and other senior officers in the Rwanda Defence Forces.
Established October 1, 2007, the U.S. AFRICOM is described as being a Unified Combatant Command of the US Department of Defence that is responsible for U.S. military operations and military relations with 53 African nations.
Maj. Rutaremara also noted that Ward will visit Gabiro and Gisenyi’s RDF marine base which AFRICOM supports in checking narcotics smuggling among other things.
Before his departure early Wednesday, Gen. Ward is expected to hold a press conference at Kigali International Airport.