Every academic year, Rwanda Defense Force Command and Staff College (RDFCSC) organizes an International Study Tour (IST) for students attending Senior Command and Staff Course (SCSC). This year, SCSC 05 students accompanied by the College Leadership and Faculty conducted IST in the Peoples’ Republic of China and the Republic of Korea (RoK), commonly known as South Korea.
The aim of the IST was to familiarize students with the historical, geopolitical, socio economic, defence and security environments and realities within the visited countries, and the nexus between policy, strategy and national security through inter agency cooperation within the visited countries.
The 76 participants to the IST were divided in two equal groups. The delegation to RoK was headed by the College Commandant, Major General John Bosco Kazura, whereas the one to the People’s Republic of China was headed by the Chief Instructor, Colonel Justus Majyambere.
The delegation in the Republic of Korea
The delegation to the People’s Republic of China
Among the important places the delegation to RoK visited, is the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that lies between the 2 Koreas. The DMZ is an area within 2 km from both the northern and the southern side of the Military Demarcation Line that was set up after the cease-fire in 1953 Korean civil war. The group was able to physically view over the DMZ into North Korea. The ambassador of Rwanda to RoK Emma Francoise Isumbingabo joined the Commandant for the visit.
The group also visited various RoK defence industries including the Hanwha Corporation Defense’s Daejeon plant that manufactures guided munitions and propulsion systems, and Korea Aerospace Industry (KAI) that produces Air Force jets, helicopters and weapons.
The delegation to RoK visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Korea National Diplomatic Academy established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to train career diplomats and serve as a think tank for diplomatic security. The group visited Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, where they were briefed on how the Police Agency remotely controls traffic in Seoul City by monitoring thousands of CCTV cameras and conducting spot-on interventions. The group was also shown how the Police Agency receives calls of service and complaints from the general public and using Information Technology, is able to geographically locate where there is need for response.
The delegation to RoK also visited the Ministry of Defence and Korean National Defense University (KNDU). KNDU is the highest education, defense and security research institution in Korea. The delegation visited the RoK Army Training and Doctrine Command that is responsible to train and educate land forces. The delegation also visited the Joint Forces Military University that integrates Army, Navy and Air force officers for training under the purpose of nurturing joint military planning and operations.
The delegation to RoK at Army Training and Doctrine Command
The delegation to RoK at Korean National Defense University
The delegation to the People’s Republic of China started their visit with the Great Wall of China.
A number of important departments, including the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were also visited.
The group visited the Air force Museum, where they were briefed about the genesis of Chinese Air power to the contemporary period.
The group also visited the Chinese Air force Command College and the National Defence University.
The RDFCSC delegation to China also visited the China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) which is a giant enterprise group engaged in products operation, capital operation and Research and Development. China is able to manufacture any weapon, ranging from small arms to cruise missiles of various types, Air to Air and Surface to Air Missiles, as well as replica of nuclear and atomic bombs. Students had opportunity to see for themselves how advanced China is in terms of military arsenals.
Both the delegations to China and Republic of Korea took part in the commemoration activities of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi; including the walk to remember and remembrance ceremonies very well organized by respective Rwandan embassies in China and South Korea. These events attracted many Rwandans from the diaspora, the Diplomatic community, friends of Rwanda, a good number of Chinese and Koreans, as well as Africans that are based in Beijing and Seoul cities.
On the last day of the tour to the Republic of Korea, the group visited the War Memorial of Korea in the heart of Seoul. The visit was an educational opportunity for the group to get an in-depth insight on the Korean War, the participation of various countries, and the role of diplomatic and international efforts mostly under the UN.
The RDFCSC week-long International Study Tour to Republic of Korea and the Peoples’ Republic of China from 1st to 9th April 2017 was very educative and successful. The tour was very beneficial as SCSC 05 students learned much from it as regards policies and strategies the two countries put in place to ensure their national peace and security, but also their socio-economic development and prosperity. The two delegations returned to Rwanda after completing the tour safe and satisfied.
The following are some of the most memorable pictures:
Delegation to RoK
Delegation to People’s Republic of China