Rwanda, Belgium cement military ties

KIGALI - The Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) and the Belgian military have agreed to establish a joint Military Technical Commission to foster cooperation between the two national defence forces. The agreement was reached after a meeting between the Chief of Belgian Defence, Gen Charles-Henri Delcour and RDF Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. James Kabarebe, at the Ministry of Defence yesterday. Speaking after the meeting, Delcour said that the RDF is a professional force, which is the reason why his country chose to partner with it. “Rwanda is a key player in regional stability and that is why Belgium has viewed the country as an important partner,” said Delcour, revealing that his country is planning to increase military support to Rwanda. 
Rwanda’s CDS Gen. James Kabarebe (L) admires a gift from his Belgian counterpart Gen. Charles Henri Delcour at the Ministry of Defence Yesterday. (Photo J Mbanda)
Rwanda’s CDS Gen. James Kabarebe (L) admires a gift from his Belgian counterpart Gen. Charles Henri Delcour at the Ministry of Defence Yesterday. (Photo J Mbanda)

KIGALI - The Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) and the Belgian military have agreed to establish a joint Military Technical Commission to foster cooperation between the two national defence forces.

The agreement was reached after a meeting between the Chief of Belgian Defence, Gen Charles-Henri Delcour and RDF Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. James Kabarebe, at the Ministry of Defence yesterday.

Speaking after the meeting, Delcour said that the RDF is a professional force, which is the reason why his country chose to partner with it.

“Rwanda is a key player in regional stability and that is why Belgium has viewed the country as an important partner,” said Delcour, revealing that his country is planning to increase military support to Rwanda. 

Military spokesman, Maj. Jill Rutaremara said that the two forces also agreed to move their relations to a higher level whereby Belgium will not be deciding by itself the kind of support it would give Rwanda, instead Rwanda will be presenting what kind of support they need from Belgium.

Meanwhile, in the framework of enhancing the existing good relations between Belgium and Rwanda, Delcour also said that his country is willing to support Rwanda in the reconciliation process.

He made the remarks after visiting the Kigali Memorial Centre, and the Belgian soldiers’ memorial site at Camp Kigali.

Gen. Delcour who was accompanied by the Air Force Chief of Staff, Lt Gen. Charles Muhire, laid wreaths on both memorial sites.

The memorial of the Belgian Soldiers at Camp Kigali provides information as to how the ten Belgian UN blue berets were massacred during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Asked what his country is doing to track down Genocide fugitives who are believed to be living in Belgium, Delcour said that it is a process that takes time and added that efforts are there to ensure that fugitives are tracked down and brought to book.

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