Forging stronger ties: Rwanda’s efforts in training CAR security forces

By Esther Muhozi
On 23 February 2024 at 12:54

Rwanda has committed to providing training for law enforcement officers in the Central African Republic (CAR) as part of an effort to strengthen security cooperation between the two nations.

The announcement of this initiative was made on February 22 in Kigali, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Interior in Rwanda and CAR’s Ministry of Interior and Public Security. The signatories at the ceremony were Michel Nicaise Nassin, CAR’s Minister of Interior and Public Security, and Maj. Gen (Rtd) Albert Murasira, Rwanda’s Minister of Emergency Management (MINEMA).

This recent agreement builds upon a previous one signed between the Rwanda National Police and CAR’s National Police and Gendarmerie in February 2022 and October 2023. In October 2023, students from law enforcement agencies in CAR began a six-month course at the counter-terrorism training center (CTTC) in Mayange, Bugesera District.

Murasira highlighted that the framework document delineates mutual interests, which will be the focal point of their future collaboration, thereby strengthening the friendship between the two countries. Landry Ulrich Depot, the Director General of the National Gendarmerie of CAR, expressed expectations for the collaboration to enhance the capacity of CAR’s law enforcement institutions. He emphasized the ongoing training by Rwandan technicians and instructors, announcing plans for additional contingents to join the training center.

Rwanda and CAR have an existing partnership in policing activities, particularly in capacity-building for the CAR police and gendarmerie. ACP Boniface Rutikanga, spokesperson for the Rwanda National Police, stated that this collaboration includes training CAR gendarmes at the Counter Terrorism Training Center in Mayange. Rutikanga mentioned that the purpose of the visit was to explore expanding the partnership, potentially involving sending Rwandan instructors to train police officers or gendarmes in CAR.

Nassin acknowledged Rwanda’s comprehensive support as an endeavor to contribute to peace and security in the Central African Republic. CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadéra had previously lauded the fruitful bilateral cooperation with Rwanda, attributing it to the restoration of peace and security in his country.

In December 2020, Rwanda’s special forces played a crucial role in halting the advance of the Coalition of Patriots for Change rebel alliance, led by former president François Bozize, towards Bangui. This intervention, conducted under a bilateral defense arrangement, rapidly deployed Rwandan special forces to assist CAR’s armed forces.