The New Times (Kigali)

26 December 2012

Rwanda: Denfese Minister, Japanese Envoy Discuss Cooperation

The Minister of Defence James Kabarebe, on Christmas eve met the Japanese ambassador to Rwanda Kunio Hatanaka with whom they discussed the future plans for the recently instituted Rwanda Peace Academy (RPA).

The academy, that is situated in Musanze district Northern Province was initiated with aim of training military, police and civilians on different courses including peaces building, peace keeping as well as conflict resolution.

It is partly funded by the Japanese government, through their embassy in Kigali.

Addressing the media after the meeting, the Japanese envoy reiterated his country's commitment toward the future development of the academy, saying that the centre would not only benefit Rwanda but also other countries.

"We discussed about the completion of the academy's auditorium, an e-learning facility and library at the centre," Hatanaka said.

Japan contributed US$3million towards the construction of the academy.

The director of the academy Col Jill Rutaremara said that the facility is already yielding positive results, giving an example of courses that have not only been offered to Rwandans, but also officers and civilians from Africa and beyond.

"We have had about 16 training sessions of different people in Africa and others outside the continent and the minister had invited Ambassador to thank him for the contribution as well as discuss how Japan would help the centre in the future," Rutaremara said.

RPA will enhance regional and sub-regional capacity for conflict prevention, management, resolution, post-conflict recovery and peace building, by drawing on Rwanda's experience, it has been said.

A recent regional training programme hosted at the centre aimed at equipping civilians with adequate knowledge and skills to contribute to peace building missions and it attracted participants from ten African countries under Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) Peace Support Operations (PSO).

The represented countries were Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Others are Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.

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