Musanze - 29 military officers from the East African Community member states yesterday completed an international course on Military Ethics and the Law of Armed conflict at the Rwanda Military Academy in Nyakinama.
The closing ceremony which was presided over by the Chief of Defense Staff of the Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF), Lt Gen. Charles Kayonga, was attended by the Netherlands Ambassador to Rwanda, Frans Makken, and envoys Remy Sinkazi from Burundi and Marwa Matiko from Tanzania.
The three-week training which was a result of bilateral cooperation between the governments of Netherlands and Rwanda, aimed at enhancing professionalism of the armies to meet the challenges in the area of humanitarian and peace support operations.
In his remarks, Gen. Kayonga said that maintaining disciplined operations and abiding by the law of armed conflicts has become part and parcel of the RDF doctrine which must be embraced at all levels of military training.
Kayonga said that one of the features that allows the RDF to maintain ethical and legal ethos is the enforcement institutions which are relentless in activities aimed at deterrence of those who would violate the ethos.
‘’The military courts which are as old as the RDF, ensure this deterrent, and their consistence has ensured that discipline becomes a culture amongst our forces,” he said.
He castigated the recent UN Mapping report that portrayed the Rwandan army as ‘double faced, saying that this is an unacceptable insult.
“The force whose disciplined operations led to the decisive defeat of the Genocide forces and the stopping of genocide cannot be the one again to commit atrocities in the Congo.”
‘’We maintain that these are fabrications constructed by those opposed to the positive evolution of the Rwandan society, and these enemies of Rwanda have no just cause and have demonstrated lack of ethics on their own and are therefore destined to fail in this smear campaign,” he added.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Dutch Ambassador, Frans Makken commended the RDF for recognizing the need to organize the training aimed at promoting peace and security and ensuring ethics during armed conflicts.
He said that Rwanda’s army is exemplary as has been witnessed in Darfur, and last year’s operations in Congo dubbed ‘Umoja Wetu’, saying that it’s unfortunate the UN mapping report, has come out now and in the way it is.
The military officers who attended the international course on Military Ethics and the Law of Armed conflict were of the ranks of lieutenant to Lt. Colonels and were awarded certificates upon completion.