The Minister of Defence, Gen. James Kabarebe, yesterday met with Belgium’s Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region, Ambassador Frank De Coninck, with whom he discussed regional security.
Speaking to the media shortly after the meeting, De Coninck stressed that Belgium was among the key foreign partners who have an interest in the region’s security.
He particularly pointed out that his country continues to support efforts to bring peace and security to the region, especially the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“They largely discussed the security situation in the great lakes region and emphasis was put on the problems in the Congo. They agreed that the good cooperation between Rwanda and Congo should continue,” said the Army and Defence Spokesperson, Lt. Col. Jill Rutaremara.
“Also discussed and equally agreed upon was the issue of strengthening the CEPGL bloc.”
Previously, other top Belgian officials have highlighted that the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) is a key partner in as far as the region’s security is concerned.
During a Rwanda-Belgium bilateral meeting held at the ministry, last year, Col. Fabien Motmans, the Head of Military Cooperation in the Belgian armed forces, who was in Kigali for three days, noted that the two countries were committed to discussing a concrete cooperation programme.
Apart from jointly looking at regional security concerns, the two countries have a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Defence which was signed in 2004.
The Belgian Chief of Defence, Gen. Charles Henri Delcour, also visited last September. His visit was about enhancing bilateral military cooperation between the two armies, as well as to familiarize himself with the situation in the country.