There is need to improve ways to handle modern security challenges given their diverse and complicated nature.
The call was made by the Chief of Defence Staff General Patrick Nyamvumba, yesterday, while opening a three-day National Security Symposium at RDF Command and Staff College in Musanze District.
The symposium brings together 47 senior officers from East African member states plus South Sudan. They are attending a third intake.
Also present were senior government officials, academicians and researchers, media practitioners, and experts.
It aims at facilitating senior officers, interact and discuss with the invitees on contemporary national security challenges from the policy, academic and media practitioners’ perspectives, according to Brig Gen Joseph Nzabamwita, the Defence and Military Spokesperson.
Nzabamwita said the symposium was one of the comprehensive ways to look at national security issues and empower officer-trainees.
In his opening remarks, General Nyamvumba hailed the College and University of Rwanda for partnering to organise the symposium which he said would help participants critically reflect and analyse the security challenges faced by states particularly on the African continent.
“We all know that contemporary security challenges are diverse and, complicated in nature and as such, we need to be more sophisticated in dealing with and countering them in the way they manifest,” Nyamvumba said.
He cited open armed conflict, cross border crimes, political unrest, civil wars, expansion of terrorist networks, poverty and hunger, water scarcity, misuse of information and technology among other, challenges.
He noted that national security is a pivotal pillar for sustainable development which calls for continuous efforts to seek answers to security problems affecting nations.
“We must continue to seek answers to security problems affecting our nations as we pursue the ultimate objective of transforming our respective nations,” he told participants.
‘‘He spoke of the need to find solutions to current security challenges such as the threat posed by the FDLR militia, Alshabab, Uganda’s Allied Defence Forces (ADF), and the current political crisis in Burundi.
“It is worth to note that most unrests have consequences that go beyond national borders and this serves as a reminder that we need to take a collective responsibility to bring peace to our continent,” he said.
Brig Gen Nzabamwitasaid the symposium will help participants interact with senior government officials, policy-makers, including, academicians from various regional and international universities and media practitioners.
He said it will also enable them address the real life issues in contemporary security challenges.
“When we are talking about real national security issues, we are not talking about war alone, we are talking about how to implement peace keeping, we will view the role of Rwanda peace keeping in the perspective of Africa, we are going to review the Rwanda model in national building, how do we use the model of development vis-a-vis the other areas in the African continent to empower officers to be able to handle relevant security challenges,” Nzabamwita said.
Seven sessions on the security challenges and how to handle such challenges will be held during the symposium.
It is organised under the theme, ‘‘Contemporary Security Challenges: “The African perspective.”