46 senior officers from Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) and Allied Defence Forces in the region graduated from the one year Senior Command and staff Course Intake Four (SCSC 04) at RDF Command and Staff College in Musanze District, Northern Rwanda.
The graduation ceremony held on 3rd June 2016 was presided over by Honourable Minister of Defence, Gen James Kabarebe, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Rwanda and Commander-in-Chief of Rwanda Defence Force, HE Paul Kagame.
Other present dignitaries included Hon Minister of Education, Dr Musafiri Papias Malimba, Hon Minister of Internal Security, Sheikh Mussa Harerimana, Hon Minister of East African Community, Valentine Rugwabiza, the visiting Chief of General Staff of the Czech Republic Armed Forces, General Josef Becvar and the RDF Chief of Defense Staff, Gen Patrick Nyamvumba, among others.
The graduation ceremony started with a minute of silence in remembrance of two Malawian officers’ wives who died in a road accident on 1 June 2016, while travelling from Kigali to Musanze to join their husbands, also graduands.
“We are indeed deeply saddened by the loss that the officers have encountered. On behalf of the Government of Rwanda, I wish to send our heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathy to the Government of Malawi, the Malawi Defence Forces and the families of the deceased. May their souls rest in perfect peace”, Minister Kabarebe said at the beginning of his key note speech.
He further told the officers that their graduation constituted a milestone in their professional development. “Your studies here provided you an opportunity not only to recharge intellectually and see things more clearly, but also to reassess yourselves and your respective militaries and appreciate the role you have to play to make our region and Africa a proud and dignified place”, Minister Kabarebe highlighted.
Gen Kabarebe advised the graduating officers to build on the knowledge, friendship and network acquired throughout the one year course to cement further personal and institutional relationships, which have proven to be an invaluable pillar for both national and regional security.
Minister Kabarebe also conveyed H.E the President’s gratitude to the RDF leadership for the work they are doing in relation to building a strong and professional force.
“Today we believe the graduating officers possess focused and multifaceted skills as well as enhanced intellectual and professional capacity to deal with future defence and security challenges”, the Commandant of the RDF Command and Staff College, Maj Gen JB Kazura said. The Commandant also recognized the invaluable support by the University of Rwanda that provide able lecturers to deliver and supervise the College’s Master’s program in Security Studies.
46 officers in total were awarded the ’psc’ symbol and certificate. 32 from Rwanda Defence Force and 14 from Allied Armed Forces, two each from Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, South Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia.
Maj JP Mutarambirwa from RDF
Maj JP Mutarambirwa (above) and Maj Elias Byamukama (below) receiving their awards.
Maj Elias Byamukama from Uganda
Maj J P Mutarambirwa from RDF was the best overall student. the second best overall and best allied student was Maj Elias Byamukama from Uganda. Maj Paul Aruasa from Kenya was the third best overall student while Maj Richard Davis Sinos Chidzungu from Malawi received the best Commandant Research paper award.
Maj R DS Chidzungu from Malawi
Graduates’ families and other invited guests attended the graduation ceremony.