KIGALI - The Chief of Belgian Defence (CHOD), Gen Charles-Henri Delcour, is expected in Kigali tomorrow for a four-day visit.
Gen Delcour will hold talks with his Rwandan counterpart, Gen. James Kabarebe on a wide range of issues to enhance the excellent bilateral military cooperation already existing between the two armies.
According to the Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) spokesman, Maj. Jill Rutaremara, the visit will cement the good relationship with the Belgian army and explore other areas of cooperation.
Rutaremara added that both defence chiefs will discuss matters related to training, especially in the engineering field.
”As we embark on modernising and professionalising our military, we are faced with challenges. We need to keep abreast with new technologies, that is why we have sent our young men and women to several countries for specialised training. Belgium is one of them.”
Three specialist medical doctors have graduated from the Royal Military Academy in Belgium and another 50 students have passed through the same academy pursuing different courses, especially in engineering.
“As we operate in a multi-national environment, especially in peacekeeping, we need to keep up to standard. Most of our equipment is modern and needs skilled human resources to operate them,” said Rutaremara.
60 young Rwandans students are enrolled at the Defence Engineering College in Debre Zeit in Ethiopia and 25 more are joining this year.
Last year 2nd Lt. Stephen Semwaga graduated from the prestigious Sandhurst Military Academy in the UK with Steven Mutabazi and Ramsey Simba set to join this year.
Roland Kalisa is now in his last year in electronic engineering at another top military academy, West Point (USA). Ivan Cyomoro Kagame successfully passed his entry exam at the same Academy.
Engineer Danny Gatsinzi has also graduated from the Air Force Academy in Colorado.
South Africa is another country that has seen many young Rwandan men and women pass through its academies.
Sgt Emery Gakuba, a Masters Degree holder in one of the South African Universities is now the Head of Department in a South African factory which manufactures spare parts for Boeing.
Many pilots, avionic engineers, medical doctors, lawyers, managers and economists have successfully their studies in the country and more are set to join.
Gen. Delcour’s visit comes within the context of a military cooperation, based on a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Ministers of Defence of both countries