Gen Nyamvumba tips African military officers on selfless service, peacebuilding

Gen Nyamvumba awards Maj Evans Komedjah, from Ghana, as the overall best student. Régis Umurengezi.

The Chief of Defence Staff of Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) has called on African senior military officers, who on Friday graduated from the RDF Command and Staff College Nyakinama, to use the knowledge acquired to better serve fellow Africans and help make the continent a better place.

Gen Patrick Nyamvumba was addressing the graduate officers from Rwanda and nine other African countries; Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia at the college campus in Musanze District.

The cohort consisted of 47 senior military officers between the ranks of Major to Lieutenant Colonel.

Nyamvumba told the graduates that he was sure they now have the capacity to overcome whatever challenges they faced in their day-to-day endeavors thanks to skills acquired during their time at the college.

 “I believe that the experience gained from your time here, through interactions with tutors, colleagues and the surrounding communities have contributed to your transformation into commanders who will be able to deal with the current dynamic and complex security environment,” he said.

“As you definitely know, contemporary security situations demand commanders with open and flexible minds, …they require commanders who can be part of the national solutions, who can contribute to national development and defend the country’s sovereignty, freedom and dignity.”

He noted that the graduates have all it takes to contribute to their respective countries’ progress in whichever assignments they will be given and challenged them to join hands in transforming the continent.

“As you depart from this institution, therefore, go and use that knowledge acquired to contribute in whichever way you can to make Africa more peaceful, stronger, prosperous and a better place to live in,” he said.

According to the college Commandant Maj Gen Jean Bosco Kazura, the graduates underwent a year-long course in analytical and communication skills, personal and collective values, as well as professional military knowledge designed to help them in their future command and leadership management responsibilities.

Prof Phillip Cotton, Vice Chancellor, University of Rwanda, congratulates graduate military officers on being conferred upon a Master’s degree at RDF Command and Staff College Nyakinama yesterday. Forty-seven senior military officers, drawn from 10 African countries, completed a one-year Senior Command and Staff course, with 30 of them receiving a Master’s degree in military studies. The course was offered under a partnership between the Rwanda Defence Force and University of Rwanda. The graduates were urged to use their skills to better serve and help make Africa a better place. Régis Umurengezi.

The course was offered under a partnership framework between the military college and University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS).

All the graduates were awarded the ‘Passed Staff Course’ certificate, while 30 of them received a master’s degree in security studies from University of Rwanda.

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Rwanda, Prof Phillip Cotton, urged the fresh graduates to use the acquired knowledge to help transform their respective countries and the world at large.

Best performers

Maj Evans Komedjah, from Ghana, wrote the best research paper and was named the best overall performer, while Maj Emmanuel Mugabo, from Rwanda, emerged second overall best student.

Lt Col Allan Mitawa, from Malawi, was the third overall best student.

Komedjah said he was ready to confront security challenges that affect various parts of African continent, stressing that he will strive to optimise his newly acquired knowledge to bring about positive change in the continent.

“For Africa to be a better place to live in we, first of all, have to look at the security; currently we know that there are a lot of security challenges on the continent,”

“As a military officer having gained this knowledge, and going back home, we are going to work towards addressing those issues by promoting a very secure environment that will bring about economic activities and good political environment,” he told The New Times.

Since its inauguration in July 2012, the RDF Command and Staff College has graduated over 300 officers from various African countries and beyond.