Officers attending the Senior Command and Staff Course at the RDF Command and Staff College in Musanze District began their annual international study tour to Ethiopia and Turkey on Saturday.
The tour is designed to provide students with the opportunity to undertake an in-depth study of the history, defense and security establishment, geo-political environment and socio-economic initiatives made by the host countries to ensure their national security, according to an RDF statement.
The theme of the tour is: “Maintaining State Cohesion in the Face of National Security Challenges.”
As noted in the statement, participants were split into two groups totaling to 75 students and college staff from Rwanda, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
“The objective of the tour is to examine the countries’ progress in national transformation as well as security management,” reads part of the statement.
“The students will be particularly interested in examining how Turkey deals with its security challenges such as the Partiya Kareren Kurdistan (PKK Separatist movement) which operates in south east Turkey and Iraq’s Kurdistan region and the spread of ISIS along its borders with Syria.”
It is noted that Turkey presents a good case of maintaining state cohesion through the skillful application of both hard and soft power. Ethiopia, on the other hand, is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa with a consistent trajectory.
“It has also remained united against all odds. In as far as national transformation is concerned; the two countries’ militaries are a strategic anchor to national development. Both countries’ progress is mostly due to resolute leadership.”
“In line with our study tour objectives, the host nations have designed a program to enable the participants to visit several government institutions that include among others the Ministry of Defense and Foreign affairs, security organs and several other government agencies where learning will be facilitated by briefs to be conducted by senior government officials.”
The college expects participants to derive immense benefits from this tour while fostering enduring cooperation between our countries.
“It is a unique opportunity of drawing important lessons in statecraft and security management from two fairly different geo-political environments.