The annual International Study Tour (IST) on the curriculum of the RDFCSC Senior Command and Staff Course designed to provide students with the opportunity to undertake an in-depth study of how the geo-political environment and socio-economic realities of other countries influence their national security and development was conducted from 20-29 April 2018. The purpose is to broaden student’s perspective on regional and global security issues and enable them gain an understanding of the link between strategy, policy, national security and socio economic development. The theme for this year was “National strategies and initiatives towards enhancing sustainable peace, security and socio-economic development in the face of emerging contemporary threats”. The countries visited were Israel and the Czech Republic. Students and faculty members were put into 2 groups with the Commandant heading the group that visited Israel and the Chief Instructor leading the Czech group. For the first time two lecturers’ Dr John Peter MUGUME (Israel Group) and Dr Aggée MUGABE SHYAKA (Czech Group) from the University of Rwanda joined on the Tour.
Israel, a Middle East State is located in a very hostile neighbourhood with most of its neighbours engaged in protracted conflict faces both conventional and asymmetric threats. The root of these threats which is largely religious and traced to the bible has to do with the refusal of its neighbours to accept and cohabit with it and the quest to survive as a state. The contemporary threats being the springing up of various religious fanatical rebel groups in the region as a result of exclusion and ideological differences in their states of origin. These rebel groups who are involve in toppling their governments are also bent on using any means possible to wipe Israel from the map.
Israel since its establishment in April 1948 has through people centred strategies, innovations and strong leadership fostered cohesion among its citizenry to develop into one of the technologically advanced states in the world. With their main focus in the areas of Defence Industry due to neighbouring threats, Surveillance, Information and Communication Technology(ICT) and Agriculture, they have been able to improve the socio-economic standards of their citizenry. They have been sharing their experience and creativity with friendly nations and Africa is on the priority list. The RDFCSC visit which coincided with their 70 independence anniversary was given the priority it deserved in line with their friendly agenda.
The group arrived in Tel-Aviv on Friday 20 April 2018 and was met on arrival at the airport by the Rwandan Ambassador and his 1st Secretary who facilitated the group to settle in their hotel Dan Panorama International. Saturday 21 April was free day due to the Sabbath. The official briefings and visits started on Sunday 22 which is a working day according to the Jewish Calendar.
DAY 1: SUNDAY 22 APRIL 2018
The group was met at the hotel by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) Attaché to Africa, Col Aviezer Segal and Mr Asad Dvir, SIBAT (The International Defence Cooperation Directorate of the Israel Ministry of Defence) Director Africa who arranged and coordinated the whole visit. The group then visited the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre where they received a brief on Worldwide and Local Terror Challenges. The group proceeded to VERINT Systems Ltd which offers various communications and interception solutions for use by government agencies around the world towards security applications and then to the Israeli Ministry of Defence (IMOD) for a general brief on the IDF setup.
Group photo at hotel before departure for the first day of visit
Group Photo at Meir Amit, Israel Intelligence’ Heritage & Commemoration Centre (IICC)
Ms Nina a retired MOSSAD operative giving a brief on some of the fallen heroes of MOSSAD during the tour of the memorial
The Commandant RDFCSC doing a presentation to the operations manager of the Company after his brief
Group Photo at VERINT Systems Ltd
Group members and IDF officials listening to the brief at the IMOD and IDF HQ
The Rwandan Ambassador to Israel giving his remarks at the IMOD and IDF HQ briefing session.
DAY 2: MONDAY 23 APRIL 2018
The group visited Elbit Systems UAV a subsidiary of Elbit Systems Ltd a company specialised in the design and production of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), where they were given a brief on the activities of the company. The group proceeded to the Golan Heights to visit the Golan Heights Brigade and the Communication and Technological Brigade 210 where they were given a situational brief and intelligence collection overview respectively.
Group Photo at the Elbit Systems UAV
Golan Heights Liaison Officer briefing the Group at a view point on the Golan Heights
DAY 3: TUESDAY 24 APRIL 2018
The day started with a tour of the Elbit Systems ISTAR and Aeronautics, branches of Elbit System UAV which are also the manufacturing hubs of the UAV and its related equipment. The group then attended a Seminar at the SIBAT HQ where most of the Israeli defence industry players gave briefs on their innovations they have developed to assist the IDF in containing and ensuring total security of the state. The day ended at Israeli Aerospace Industry Ltd.
The Commandant doing a presentation to Brig Gen(Rtd) Gal Hirsch after his presentation at the Seminar.
Presentation to the Group during the SIBAT Seminar
Brig Gen (Rtd) Amon SOFRIN presenting a miniature aircraft to the Commandant RDFCSC by after briefing the Group at the Israeli Aerospace Industries Ltd.
DAY 4: WEDNESDAY 25 APRIL 2018
The day was dedicated to the Southern part of Israel. The group visited the “Black Arrow” and Ben Gurion memorial sites where they were given an overview of the Gaza Strip and the history of the development of the Negev desert respectively. Later in the afternoon the group was at the IDF Training HQ and was given a brief about the IDF training complex and the vision. The day ended with a tour of the Israeli branch of the Motorola Industry.
The Group at the Black Arrow Memorial
The Curator of the Ben Gurion Memorial briefing the Group
The SIT performing his duties at the IDF Training Complex after the Brief
DAY 5: THURSDAY 26 APRIL 2018
The group visited the Holocaust Museum and Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs where the group was given briefs on the Middle East Regional challenges and Terror Movements in Africa. The Tour would not have been complete without visiting Holy and Cultural places considering the fact that Israel existence is based on the Bible and its Cultural heritage. The group therefore proceeded to Jerusalem to tour the Holy places.
At the Holocaust History Museum
The Group reacting to a very interesting brief from the Foreign Affairs official
The Tour Guide briefing the group before the Jerusalem Tour
DAY 6: FRIDAY 27 APRIL 2018
It was a free day for students to interact with the populace and do some shopping.
DAY 7: SATURDAY 28 APRIL 2018
The visit to the Holy and Cultural sites continued and this time to Nazareth the birth place of Jesus Christ. The tour ended with a farewell dinner by the Rwandan Ambassador at the Dan Panorama Hotel where the group lodged over the period.
The Group in Nazareth the birth place of Jesus Christ.
The Commandant RDFCSC doing a presentation to the Ambassador Joseph RUABANA during the farewell dinner at the Hotel.
2. CZECH REPUBLIC
The group of 36 officers that went to Czech Republic left Kigali International Airport on 21 April 2018 for a 9 days study tour in the Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Europe, is bordered by Poland to the north, Germany to the west, Austria to the south, and Slovakia to the east. It is divided into 14 regions, with Prague as the capital. The official language of the Czech Republic is Czech, and the currency is the Czech koruna (CZK).Geographically, Czech Republic is a hilly plateau surrounded by relatively low mountains ranges in the southwest. Bohemia, mostly occupying the western half of the country, the eastern part of the country, is hilly land .With a lack of natural lakes, water reservoirs are important in the Czech Republic; most are artificial lakes formed in enclosed river valleys and there are over 125 in the country.
The team stayed in Prague capital and the tour started on Monday 23 April 2018, where the team visited MoD and received by Head of Defence policy and strategy Division at MoD HQs. It was briefed on Defence policy and strategy, Defence industries, innovations and cooperation with other countries as well as the overview of Czech armed forces.
Head of Defence policy and strategy Division
From MoD, the team preceded to Czech Aircraft Repairing Company. It is a private owned company supported by the government. Here the team was briefed by the CEO of the company on different engines repair, assembling and overhauling.
The team also visited Terezin memorial site which was the Jewish concentration camp during Second World War, the team was briefed on the horrible conditions that Jewish lived. On 25 Apr 18, the team visited Defence University in BRNO the second largest city located in the South East of Czech republic. The team was briefed on Defence University curriculum and adaptation to dynamics of the security environment. On the same day the team preceded to military academy in VYSKOV where the team was briefed on carrier education, which comprises both military and civil personnel education systems. From military academy, the team preceded to visit Czech privately owned company which manufactures small and light arms.
The tour of the Czech Republic was concluded by visiting the military technical museum and toured the historical military equipment used during first and second world wars and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs HQs the team was briefed on the basic tenets and current challenges of EU Foreign and Security Policy, priorities of Czech Foreign Policy and her attitude towards Sub-Saharan Africa in sector of economic interests.
AIR FORCE B MEMORIAL
CI SIGNING IN DEFENCE UNIVERSITY GUEST BOOK
LOM PRAHA CEO
RECEIVED BY 2 CHANCELLOR OF EMBASSY
RECEIVED BY VYSKOV MILITARY ACADEMY DEPUTY COMMANDANT
RECEIVED BY SMALL ARMS FACTORY CEO
SMALL ARMS FACTORY
SMALL ARMS FACTORY CEO
SMALL ARMS FACTORY TOUR
TOURING DEFENCE UNIVERSITY
The International Study Tour was very educative and successful where the trip to the two countries was very beneficial as the students learned so much from it. The delegations appreciated the commitment and cooperation offered by various leaders in those countries. The Students and faculty staff returned to Rwanda after completing a week-long tour to the Czech Republic and the Israel from 20 to 29th April 2018.