A Bipartisan Congressional delegation from the United States of America, led by Senator Chris Coons of Delaware who are in Rwanda for a three-day visit, yesterday, visited Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF).
They toured the Rwanda Military Hospital, Kanombe, where they witnessed projects under the defence and military partnership between Rwanda and the US.
The delegation, accompanied by US Ambassador to Rwanda Erica J. Barks-Ruggles, was briefed by Defence Minister James Kabarebe on Rwanda’s contribution to international peacekeeping operations.
After the tour of the hospital, US Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) said that they visited the country because they respect and value the US partnership with Rwanda.
“We’ve come because we do so much respect the work you are doing here and value the partnership of United States with you; we really appreciate the education and future relationship,” Senator Merkley noted.
Kabarebe told the US delegation that military cooperation between Rwanda and the United States has helped in the professionalisation of the RDF which contributed in the post-conflict recovery and development of Rwanda.
“The Rwanda-USA partnership in peacekeeping is the ideal model of giving capacity to African militaries to be able to address the security challenges facing Africa,” he said.
The US Congressional delegation was given a demonstration in trauma counseling, briefed on HIV/AIDs prevention and the use of new male circumcision techniques using PrePex device.
The United States has been one of the key partners of Rwanda Defence Forces. Rwanda is currently the fifth largest troop contributing country in UN Peacekeeping missions.
Rwanda Defence Force has more than 5,000 military personnel deployed in UNAMID in Sudan, UNMISS in South Sudan and MINUSCA in Central African Republic, including an Aviation Unit in UNMISS and a UN level-two Hospital in MINUSCA.