Rwanda is in its final stages of acquiring Russian-made advanced Air Defense systems and other related technology, the Kampala Post has established.
This follows a trip by the Rwandan Defence Forces’ Chief of Defense Staff, General Jean Bosco Kazura who visited Moscow to sign different contracts for helicopters and air defense systems.
General Kazura traveled in one of Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s personal jets (a Gulfstream 550) to take him and return him to Rwanda. Kazura left Kigali on 26th August and returned Saturday 29th.
In 2018, it also emerged that Rwanda had purchased Chinese weaponry after the equipment was used in an army training exercise. During the exercise, the Rwandan army displayed its Chinese-made PCL-09 self-propelled howitzer system and its HJ-9A “Red Arrow” anti-tank missiles, photos of which were later released by the military.
Rwanda is one of the world’s poorest countries and is still rebuilding after the 1994 genocide, but has been a regular buyer of arms from China, Turkey, Israel and now Russia.
The arms purchases come amidst strained relations between Rwanda and Uganda that resulted in Kigali's unilateral closure of the common border points at Katuna and Cyanika.
Last year, President Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart signed a pact in Angola aimed at ending tensions that saw the two neighbors accusing each other of espionage, political killings, and attacks on trade.
After the signing, President Museveni said "Uganda is fully committed to enforcing this agreement", while Kagame noted "it may take a bit of time" for the two countries "to understand each other, but I think we have come a long way".
Uganda has in the recent past released a number of Rwandans as part of wider measures aimed at normalizing the strained relations between Kampala and Kigali.
However, a series of meetings between the leadership of Rwanda and Uganda has not yet yielded a conclusive solution to the spat.