Rwanda, Israel meet over border protection

All photos by Craish Bahizi

A one-day seminar on border protection jointly organised by the Rwandan and Israeli Defence ministries was held in Kigali on Wednesday.

According to Defence Minister Maj Gen Albert Murasira, the seminar provides an opportunity for Israeli and Rwandan participants to share lessons and experiences and come up with strategies “to better defend our people.”

He added: “There is no doubt that this event will definitely open new horizons in our ties, contributing to deepening our partnership in different areas, engaging in projects that could contribute to solving particular issues through sharing experience, knowledge, know-how and technology.”

Besides the visiting Israeli delegation headed by Brig Gen (Rtd) Yair Kulas, Director of SIBAT, the international defence cooperation directorate in Israel’s Ministry of Defence, the seminar is attended by officials from the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF), the Ministry of Defence and the Directorate-General of Immigration and Emigration.

Murasira said the state of Israel continues to stand strong in confronting various security challenges.

He noted that Israel has not only survived but succeeded in the face of complex security situations.

“Rwanda shares with Israel this unwavering resolve to defend and protect our people.”

The minister also noted that the two countries’ relations acquired a degree of focus and purpose, especially, in the recent years.

Last year in April, Israel officially launched its embassy in Kigali, the 11th in Africa – and Israel’s first embassy to be opened in Africa in the past eight years – underlining the county's keen interest to expand its presence in Africa.

About two months later, in June, the maiden direct flight of national carrier RwandAir, took off from Kigali to Tel Aviv, Israel’s economic and technology hub.

“We highly value the visit of the director of SIBAT and his delegation and appreciate the will to share with us experience, skills and techniques aimed at securing our borders,” Murasira said.

Kulas, among others, noted that terrorism and violence undermine international peace and stability in the Middle East and in Africa.

He said: “The terrorists are the enemies of both of us and we should deal with them together. Terror knows no borders, nor obeys no rules; it kills hundreds of thousands, turns millions into refugees.”

“Terrorists act globally. Therefore, we should fight them globally. We must fight not only by the act of terrorism but by the roots of terrorism. Not just by military means but by drying their financial resources and their supplies of arms.”

Through the years, Kulas noted, Israel addressed these threats by maintaining its technological superiority supported by world leading defence industries.

“Some of the solutions are presented here in the Israel-Rwanda border protection seminar. Israel has shown it can defend itself, by herself, against those terror groups.

Rwanda and Israel share a similar history – the Holocaust and the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

With limited natural resources, both countries leveraged on their human resources to drive their growth and development.

jkaruhanga@newtimesrwanda.com

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