Monday, July 23, 2012

Congo: Kagame Renews Attacks On West At New Defence College

By Giles Muhame
July 23, 2012

Kagame and his generals at Rwanda Defence Forces Command and Staff College in Nyakinama, Musanze District.Rwanda President Paul Kagame on Monday spoke angrily as he attacked western countries for accusing his government of funneling weapons to the mutinous M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“The Problems of DRC were not created by Rwanda. The international community is so arrogant, they don't listen and do not provide solutions,” charged Kagame.

Rwanda has not supplied even one bullet to the DRC conflict. If we had, I would say we did because we would have done it with a reason,” he added.

Kagame was today inaugurating the Rwanda Defence Forces Command and Staff College in Nyakinama, Musanze District.

The Senior Command Course, designed in collaboration with the Defense Academy of UK and US, includes African political economy, management among other courses.

The Defense Force Command and Staff College will collaborate with higher education institutions including Rwanda National University.

“We know our problems, we are genuine about finding solutions but the international community wants to pretend some people don't matter,” said Kagame.

“Holding people accountable is good but if only it wasn't selective. The International Criminal Court has become highly politicized,” he added.

The President said the college must be prepared to constantly challenge this way of thinking.
“The international community has power to screw up and blame it on someone else. ICTR should have tried members of international community,” he further stated.

Kagame has since been under pressure from the International Community for reportedly sending recruits and logistics to M23 rebels, allegations he vehemently denies.

The Congo crisis has triggered a massive refugee exodus to Uganda and Rwanda.


“This day shows how far we have come in constantly improving force our country needs and deserves. What has made RDF different is emphasis on training based on clarity of purpose, competence, integrity, sense of identity,” said Kagame.

“These are values that led to RDF’s success and earn them respect when they go on international peace keeping missions. Our forces go beyond military realm, should be consistent with Rwanda strategy of seeking lasting solutions to challenges,” added Kagame.

He said the Command and Staff College graduates should be prepared to become catalysts for the transformation of Rwandan society.

“We will continue to partner with others but we must value and stay who we are as we struggle to transform Rwanda,” said Kagame.

“Pressure we come under for bad reasons should harden our thinking, should make us better fighters for our better future. Pressures should constantly shape our thinking, conduct and actions,” he advised hundreds of top army officers at the military college.

“Every day people knock on our door to remind us we are third world but this should provoke positive energy. Even if that is how people want to look at us in that way, we want to be different,” said Kagame.

He reiterated that Knowledge is only meaningful if one is able to put it to good use, adding, it’s not enough to learn if you are not going to use the knowledge “for transformation of our country, people and institutions.”

Earlier, Brig. Gen Mupenzi had revealed that the College’s aims centered on professional conduct, academic achievement and teamwork.

Chief of Defence Staff Lt. General Charles Kayonga said the military college would serve to build on homegrown military doctrine.

Minister of Defence General James Kabareebe said the Senior Command Course is result of President Kagame’s dedication to professionalism of RDF service to Rwanda.

“RDF is an integral part of the national and regional security and responsible member of global community,” said Kabarebe.

Accompanied by his generals, Kagame later toured of class based on intranet system aimed at reducing paper trail by 60% at RDF Command and Staff College, the first of its kind in the country.


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