During his recent three-day visit to Rwanda which he concluded on Tuesday 9th, King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein was welcomed by President Paul Kagame. Despite his age, the king maintains a youthful appearance, partly attributed to his commanding presence and the fact that his attire , unlike many leaders, is not a distant ’costume’ but rather suits him like that of a contemporary young man. This deviation is often linked to his military background, a career he pursued diligently.
Born on January 30, 1962, in Amman, Jordan, King Abdullah II is the son of King Hussein and belongs to the Hashemite lineage, considered ancestors of the Messenger of God, Muhammad.
With 10 siblings, including six sisters and four brothers, he attended the Islamic Educational College for primary school, followed by secondary education in England and the United States.
In 1980, King Abdullah II commenced his military studies at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Notably, he shares this alma mater with Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the son of President Museveni, and Ian Kagame, the son of President Kagame. Continuing his academic journey, he spent a year specializing in International Politics at Oxford University in 1984.
Returning to Jordan after his studies, he embarked on a military career, earning the rank of Captain and later becoming a certified pilot for the Cobra Combat Helicopter. Furthering his education at Georgetown University in Washington in 1987, he continued to rise through the military ranks, culminating in his appointment as Commander of the Special Forces in the Jordanian Army in 1997.
In 1993, King Abdullah II married Queen Rania, and they have two children. His role in international politics gained prominence, particularly during the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
In November 2023, following Israel’s actions in Gaza, Jordan took a strong stance by summoning its ambassador and expressing concerns about war crimes.
King Abdullah II demonstrated his commitment to peace during his visit to Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda. Reflecting on the 1994 Genocide against the tutsi, he emphasized the importance of intervening to prevent atrocities.
The King also hinted at the ongoing conflicts such as the war in Gaza where he urged the world to take action and find solutions to prevent further loss of innocent lives, emphasizing the need for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.