The intervention was prompted by the formation of the armed group Séléka in the North, whose coup attempts had failed. Initially part of the African Union mission (MISCA), the RDF later integrated into the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), assuming expanded responsibilities that included protecting civilians, UN infrastructure, and the head of state and his family.
In 2020, a bilateral agreement facilitated the deployment of Rwandan military reinforcements to CAR. Brigadier General Ronald Rwivanga, spokesperson for the Rwandan Defense Force, highlighted the positive developments during an exclusive interview with IGIHE.
Rwandan journalists, visiting CAR, observed the tangible improvements made by the RDF, particularly in a school in the city of Bangui’s Kina district.
The positive impact of RDF’s efforts on the ground became evident as they witnessed the resurgence of education. For instance, the Kina primary school, once affected by conflict, now accommodates over 2,400 students, symbolizing restored confidence among parents and a return to normalcy.
Beyond combating insecurity, the RDF has actively contributed to broader aspects of security and community well-being. Health centers, including three maternity centers, were established, and various community initiatives have been successfully executed.
In response to IGIHE’s inquiry about collaboration, Brig Gen Rwivanga outlined the synergy between the RDF troops deployed under the UN and those sent through bilateral cooperation.
While UN forces focus on protecting civilians and ending armed conflicts, Rwandan forces under bilateral cooperation initially confronted specific threats, such as François Bozizé’s forces in 2020.
Their role expanded to securing the population, peacekeeping, and crucially, enhancing the capabilities of the Central African Armed Forces.
When asked about the mission’s duration, Brig Gen Rwivanga emphasized a flexible approach, citing ongoing training efforts to empower Central African forces for autonomous defense. Despite acknowledging the impossibility of ensuring absolute security everywhere, he reassured that the overall security situation in the country remains stable.
Addressing concerns about insurgents, Brig Gen Rwivanga reported that groups like Anti-Balaka and Séléka, though dispersed, are actively being located and disarmed as part of the RDF’s ongoing initiative.
In the heart of the mission, the RDF stands as a beacon of hope, contributing significantly to the restoration of peace and security in the Central African Republic.