09 February 2012 by defenceWeb
The head of Belgium’s military, General Charles-Henri Delcour, has visited Rwanda with the aim of cementing existing military cooperation between the two countries.
Delcour held talks with his Rwandan counterpart, Lieutenant General Charles Kayonga, the Rwandan Defence Force Chief of Defence Staff on Tuesday. The discussion focused on the extent of cooperation so far, ongoing projects and possible new areas of cooperation.
After meeting the Kyonga, General Delcour was received by the Minister of Defence. Earlier in the morning the Belgian Chief of Defence toured Zigama Credit and Saving Society and Rwanda Military Hospital, where he received briefing on the achievements of the two institutions. He also visited Camp Kigali Memorial Site to honour the ten Belgian paratroopers killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi before touring and paying respect to 1994 genocide victims at Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre.
Delcour arrived in Rwanda on Monday for a two-day official visit. This was his second visit to Rwanda, having spent four days in the country in September 2009. Rwanda was the first African country he visited since is appointment to Belgian Chief of Defence in April 2009.
“I am coming back again to visit the Chief of Defence and the Minister of Defence about the cooperation activities we maintain with Rwanda,” he said.
“I will not go into details on military business, but it is good to speak face-to-face to understand the progress achieved, the assessment made by the Chief of Defence Staff on his current requirements and where he wants to focus,” he said.
Delcour stressed that Rwanda-Belgium military ties are good.
“It is a good cooperation, to begin with, because the Rwandan army is a well organized and very professional army, and disciplined. And they send some candidates to Belgium military academy and some officers to attend staff courses and I must say that they have a very good grounding”.
At Gisozi, Delcour, told reporters that keeping the memory of the horrors of 1994 would possibly help prevent a reoccurrence.
“The visit in this memorial, for the second time, is a very moving experience because you could not imagine that this could happen in humanity, and it happened,” he said.
“I am very impressed by this system of memorial because it is probably going to be one of the cornerstones in explaining to the next generations what should not happen”.