President Paul Kagame on Saturday congratulated officer cadets for completing their military training at Rwanda Military Academy in Gako.
The Head of State was officiating at the commissioning of 320 cadet officers in Bugesera District.
President Kagame, who is also the Commander in Chief of the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) thanked the junior officers for choosing the military profession, adding that it requires determination, diligence and discipline in order to succeed.
“This achievement should encourage you to work even harder, to reach even higher in your chosen military profession,” he said.
He reminded the officer cadets that RDF is defined by its close collaboration with citizens.
“The RDF, as we know it, has a unique history. RDF worked closely with citizens in order to reach our achievements to date and we will continue to work together,” he said.
Kagame highlighted that the RDF’s mission was to ensure the security and dignity of Rwandans, as well as the sovereignty of the country, a duty he said will bring the new officers and their country pride.
Of the graduating officers, 37 completed a four-year social and military sciences degree programmes which kicked off in 2015 in partnership with the University of Rwanda while the rest took a one year military course.
Peace is not a given
The Head of State told the officers that peace is never a given.
“You have to work for it. You have been prepared and I have no doubt that you will be able to live up to what is expected of you,” he said.
While emphasizing the need to live well with neighbours, respect and trade with each other, Kagame added that things will not always be easy.
“Everything is not always straightforward, some people choose to get in the way of others. But you have been prepared to deal with these issues based on how they come to us,” he noted.
Brig. General Ephrem Rurangwa, the Commandant of Rwanda Military Academy indicated that throughout the training, they learn that being a soldier is about putting others first and having the courage to know the right thing to do in any given situation.
“Our role is to train students in different fields including the values and principles of military, but also other skills that prepare them to take on their military careers in the RDF,” Rurangwa said.
The school started training junior officers in 1999. At the time, there was only a one-year course, but the school later entered a partnership with the University of Rwanda to start offering bachelor’s degree programmes in different fields.
Betty Mukunzi and John Cliff Mutungwa were awarded as the best performers who completed a one year course, while Henry Kalisa and Sam Ndamage received the award for the best performing officers who undertook four-year degree programmes.