President Kagame today received the United Kingdom Army Chief of Defence Staff, General Sir David Julian Richards at Urugwiro Village.
Speaking after the meeting, The Rwanda Chief of General Staff, General Charles Kayonga said; “General Richards’ visit is in line with the long standing cooperation between our armies and he assumed the post of Chief of General Staff recently. He is here to assess the situation and be able to know how the cooperation can further be strengthened.” General Kayonga pointed out that cooperation between the British army and the Rwanda Defence Forces is mainly the area of military training, among others.
General Richards said that after meeting the President, he came out of the meeting full of confidence about Rwanda’s future. “We talked about the President’s long-term plans for the country in relation to security, aid and wealth creation. I have come out much wiser and full of confidence about the future of this country. We have had close links with Rwanda since 1994 and Britain has tried hard to assist,” he said.
The UK Chief of Defence Staff pointed out that even if the British army did not have many lessons to learn militarily from the Rwandan army, there are areas that the British army can assist in terms of training and logistics. “My primary motive is to look at the security in the region because Rwanda is doing a lot externally. It is amazing that within a short period Rwanda has gone from recovering from the genocide and now has five battalions and more in Sudan among other areas,” he said.
General Richards described cooperation between the Rwanda Defence Forces and the British army as very strong. “Given the importance of the region to the United Kingdom, there is more that is going to be done to strengthen regional security,” he said.