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Rwanda Defence Force Command and Staff Students International Study Tour Underway

Senior officers attending the Senior Command and Staff Course at Rwanda Defence Force Command and Staff College in Nyakinama, Musanze District are undergoing their annual international study tour to Ethiopia and Turkey that started on 2 April 2016.

The study tour to be conducted under the theme “Maintaining State Cohesion in the Face of National Security Challenges” is designed to provide students with the opportunity to undertake an in-depth study of the history, defence and security establishment, geo-political environment and socio-economic initiatives made by the host countries to ensure their national security.

The objective of the tour is to examine the countries’ progress in national transformation as well as security management.

The participants of the tour were split into two groups totaling to 75 students and college staff from Rwanda, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi,South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

The students would be particularly interested in examining how Turkey deals with its security challenges such as the Partiya Kareren Kurdistan (PKKSeparatist movement) which operates in south east Turkey and Iraq’s Kurdistan region and the spread of ISIS along its borders with Syria.

Turkey presents a good case of maintaining state cohesion through the skillful application of both hard and soft power.

Ethiopia, on the other hand, is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa with a consistent trajectory. It has also remained united against all odds.

In as far as national transformation is concerned; the two countries’ militaries are a strategic anchor to national development. Both countries’ progress is mostly due to resolute leadership.

In line with the study tour objectives, the host nations have designed a program to enable the participants to visit several government institutions that include among others the Ministry of Defence and Foreign affairs, security organs and several other government agencies where learning will be facilitated by briefs to be conducted by senior government officials.

The College expects participants to derive immense benefits from this tour while fostering enduring cooperation between our countries. It is a unique opportunity of drawing important lessons in statecraft and security management from two fairly different geo-political environments.

The annual study tour that kicked off on 2 April in Ethiopia will conclude on 10April 2016.

By Robert Muriisa, RDF

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