September 29, 2022

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France – Rwanda: Army Chiefs Discuss Regional Security

JEAN-CHRISTOPHE MANTRANT/ÉTAT-MAJOR DES ARMÉES

Rwanda’s Chief of Defence Staff of the Rwanda Defence Force and General Thierry Burkhard, French Chief of Defence discussed security in Central Africa and in the Southern Africa Region, according to the French Armed Forces.

Rwanda and France have interests or even armies, in Mozambique and Central Africa.

General Jean Bosco Kazura, at the invitation of his counterpart General Thierry Burkhard, was received in Paris on Monday during a meeting on “cooperation in the field of common interests”, according to a statement from the Rwandan Armed Forces.

During the three-day trip, Gen Kazura was accompanied by the Chief of Military Intelligence, the Chief of International Military Cooperation, and the head of operations and training.

In recent years Rwanda and France have reformed their relationship, which has been characterized by negative attitudes since the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi which was stopped when the RPF-Inkotanyi took power.

History behind, interests of nations inside

BBC analysis

It is not uncommon for French and Rwandan military commanders to meet since 1994, the year the troops were involved in the fighting when the former RPF-Inkotanyi rebels were occupying the remaining parts of Rwanda, where the abolished government was supported by Paris.

That is history, and now the relationship is good, after President Emmanuel Macron expressed his willingness of cooperating with Paul Kagame’s Government and France’s acceptance of its role during the genocide preparation in Rwanda.

Only France still looks at Central Africa with their military base in Gabon, and in Central Africa the country once had a bigger voice, but now Rwanda and Russia have a bigger presence because their troops are the latest to rescue the threatened Faustin-Archange Touadéra regime.

France is now not well-regarded in the former colonial state and has been the talk of the town for many years after the colonial era, which has been accused by locals of looting natural resources.

As of 2016 France had 2,000 troops in Central Africa but as of January this year there were about 300 left, according to AFP.

Photo: RWANDA PRESIDENCY

In Mozambique, the French company Total Energies, which manufactures and trades in oil and gas, has had difficulties in its large project in the north of the country due to the insurgency, and now things are back to normal after the Rwandan army helped repel the insurgents.

At the end of January (1) 2022, Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of Total Energies, paid a visit to Mozambique, where he said that their $ 20 billion project is about to be revived, according to Reuters.

Pouyanné said this a day after leaving Kigali where he met President Paul Kagame.

France and Rwanda have been in a state of disarray for the past 25 years but now appear to be aligning with the interests of politics and trade where both countries have interests or both with the military, such as in Mozambique and Central Africa.

The two armies’ statements did not go into detail, but the fact that their forces must be in the interests of their respective countries is definitely in their agenda.

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