MUSANZE - The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF), Lt Gen Charles Kayonga, yesterday challenged military officers to adhere to the values of patriotism and selfless service, which have helped Rwanda evolve into a modern state.
Kayonga was officiating at the graduation ceremony of the Intermediate Command and Staff Course held at Rwanda Military Academy (RMA) Nyakinama, which was attended by 33 senior officers.
“The end state of the RDF mission is sovereignty and development,” he said, reminding the newly graduated officers the need to “leave the course with a greater sense of urgency to pursue the RDF Mission”.
“The RDF mission of attaining total sovereignty and development can only be achieved if all of us regard our individual roles as important and be humble enough to recognize that we are important as long as we are part of the whole military institution,” he said
“This truth must be internalized by all leaders, Lt Gen Kayonga emphasized.
He pointed out that the likes of Kayumba Nyamwasa, Patrick Karegeya and Dr Theogene Rudasingwa failed to internalize “this simple humility value”.
He added that the officers had failed in their historical responsibility of liberating and transforming the Rwandan society.
The General challenged the graduating officers, as the next generation of leaders, to be “keepers of the RDF Warrior and Values tradition” for them to maintain the RDF as a “timeless force for good”.
Lt Gen Charles Kayonga thanked the Commandant and Staff of the Academy as well as the entire military corp of trainers for the continued excellence in training and for their “enormous contribution to the professionalization of the RDF and hence its consistency in fulfilling its constitutional mission”
The six-month training was attended by Army and Air Force officers between the ranks of Captain, and Major and two police officers.
According to the Commandant of Academy, Brig. Gen Mushyo Kamanzi, the first course of its kind to be conducted in Rwanda, started with a two-week introduction to computer skills and participating in an online exercise of correcting a UN module on Sexual Violence & Exploitation.
He said that the course which is in line with the RDF’s professionalization process and career development programmes will enable the officers to competently perform command responsibilities.
The training also exposed them to critical and creative thinking as required to adapt to the ever-changing operational and working environment.
The best performing officers were awarded, among them Maj. Patrice Rugamba, Maj. Nyetera Semukanya and Maj. Dr. Zack Nsenga.