President Paul Kagame on Friday, June 11, presided over the graduation of 47 senior military and police officers who undertook a one-year course at the Senior Command and Staff College of Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) in Musanze.
29 of the 47 senior military and police officers earned a master’s degree of arts in security studies. The ceremony marked the ninth cohort graduation since the inauguration of the college.
Brigadier General Didace Ndahiro, the Commandant of the college pointed out that 413 have graduated from it so far in senior command and staff course, and 447 graduates for junior command and staff courses.
This is his statement:
Raising ourselves to the level where we feel we are equal with others is also an issue of mindset. It’s an issue of choices we have made or we want to make going forward. Being equal shouldn’t be just words, it should be demonstrated in real life.
The continuous acquisition of knowledge and skills, and the training of leaders in all fields, is an important part of Rwanda’s development trajectory. The armed forces are no exception. The 47 officers graduating today, embarked on this course with a clear understanding of the role of the RDF as an integral part of our country’s identity and transformation journey.
We must continue to consolidate the values of trust, consensus, and accountability that characterize our society, and to which our defence and security institutions have always actively contributed. As 21st century officers, you will operate in a volatile geopolitical and security environment, as part of an ever more inter-connected, unequal world.
Unequal therefore adds another dimension of responsibility. How do we base on this knowledge and commitment; and even with limited resources, how can we raise ourselves to that level, where we feel we are equal with others. For our country, I think we have a good understanding of who we are, where we are coming from and where we are going & want to be.
Don’t help on one hand to deal with problems of security and even support development, at the same time give ground for insecurity to develop that will come and reverse what we have been building together.
When Rwandans studying abroad want to write about something about Rwanda, in the context of the course they undertook, the leaders of this course will tell them not to touch it, not to talk about it. That they look for something else. They have set a narrative about Rwanda and they don’t want anything deviating from that narrative they have created. If you write something and then you give facts and evidence, you destroy the narrative. That is not something they would be happy about.
There is a battlefield beyond the physical one, where RDF must always be ready to protect Rwanda’s security and stability uncompromisingly. This is the struggle to instil the mindset amongst ourselves, that Rwandans and Africans are as equally deserving as others in terms of freedom, respect, and prosperity. We must be diligent in securing better lives for our people, and contributing to a better world for all.