The United Kingdom (UK) government remains committed to collaborating with Rwanda in training a critical mass of future peacekeepers from across the African continent under the UN mandate, Ben Snowdon, the UK deputy High Commissioner to Rwanda said on Friday.
He said this during the closing ceremony of a two-week training that had been taking place at the Rwanda Peace Academy in Musanze District.
The training brought together 25 senior and junior military officers from the Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF) with an objective to familiarise them with specialised training materials for UN staff officers.
Snowdon pointed out that the UK and Rwanda governments share a common vision towards contributing to sustainable peace and security across the world through preparing compatible peacekeepers.
“Both the UK and Rwanda share a common belief in the importance of upholding the rules based international order. Contributing to the vital work of international organisations such as the UN demonstrates the commitment to this order by both of our countries,” he noted.
He pointed out that the fact that Rwanda is the third largest contributor to UN missions in the world and the second largest in Africa is a testament to this commitment.
“Clearly Rwanda plays a very important role and the UK is very happy to partner, share experience and build expertise with the Rwanda Defense Forces,” he said
Speaking to Sunday Times, the Director of the Rwanda Peace Academy, Col Jill Rutaremara said that the role of the UK government in various courses that the academy offers is critical, given that the UK avails financial support and brings in their experts for the courses to meet objectives.
“Our collaboration with the UK government is commendable as we normally sit together and discuss what we feel we would give in terms of courses and the time frame. They have been very supportive because they mainly come up with financial assistance,” he said.
Rutaremara added that partnership between Rwanda and UK governments benefits the military, police and civilian officers from across the African continent adding that the trainees are later sent to various peacekeeping missions by their respective countries.
As a result of this partnership, a total of 390 officers have so far been trained by the academy.