KIGALI - The visiting commander of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Lt. Gen. Masire Tebogo, yesterday paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Defence, Gen. James Kabarebe.before leaving the country.
After the meeting, he told reporters that he informed the minister on how both armies will continue working together and that his Rwandan counterpart, Lt. Gen. Charles Kayonga, would visit Botswana later this year to explore further cooperation opportunities.
“Now that I have been here and the chief (Kayonga) will come to Botswana, he will see what we do in BDF and then we will agree on what we can work together on,” Masire said.
On Monday, Masire had hinted at Botswana’s interest was in the operations of Rwanda’s Air Force.
He told reporters yesterday that some members of his delegation will stay behind to further study the operational capabilities of BDF’s initial interest – RDF’s Russian made Mi-17 military helicopter.
Lt. Col. Jill Rutaremara, the Defence and Military Spokesperson, said: “Since we have them (Mi-17s) and have used them, they took time to visit and examine the aircraft, see its capabilities, before they can buy.”
Explaining Kayonga’s future “reciprocal” visit to Botswana, Rutaremara, said that they wanted to have a defence cooperation that is broader than that.
“It is important that we also visit and look at their schools and other things. Usually, when an army commander visits, he also invites the other,” Rutaremara said.
The Russian made Mi-17 multipurpose helicopter is a new model designed for improved capabilities at high altitudes and in hot weather conditions.