The request by the United Nations that Rwanda nominates an officer to head the United Nations-African Union Mission to Darfur (UNAMID) is yet again a major vote of confidence in the abilities of the Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF). Rwanda has nominated Maj. Gen Partrick Nyamvumba.
The Rwandan army that has been in Darfur since 2003 has performed with distinction, despite the fact that Darfur is a very challenging assignment. Their excellent performance is self evident.
Rwanda in many aspects represents the emerging and new face of Africa. And this is so even for the Rwandan army.
The discipline and professionalism exhibited by the officers and men of RDF, both at home and abroad, represents the ideal picture that ought to be representative of the institution of the army everywhere.
Sadly for most of Africa, in the aftermath of decolonization, the army became a symbol of anarchy, brutality against civilians, indiscipline, semi literacy, and hence the typical standard bearer of state failure. In some countries, this still obtains.
The RDF is a direct opposite of all that had for the wrong reasons come to symbolize the armed forces in the past including pre-1994 Rwanda.
Well educated and highly intelligent people make up the officer corps and men of the RDF. They are a source of inspiration to many.
And young educated people look at the armed forces as a good career choice and a great calling in life.