The U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda, Peter Vrooman, was the guest of honor August 28 at the closing ceremony of Shared Accord 2018 at the Rwandan Military Academy in Gako, Rwanda. Ambassador Vrooman was joined by the Rwandan Defence Forces Army Chief of Staff, Lt Gen Jacques Musemakweli, who presided over the closing ceremony of the two-week command post exercise.
Sponsored by U.S. Africa Command and executed by U.S. Army Africa (USARAF), Shared Accord 2018 trained participants from 15 nations, including officers from Botswana, Gabon, Germany, Malawi, Morocco, Netherlands, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, the United States, and Zambia.
Shared Accord is a multilateral exercise intended to enhance U.S. and African forces’ capabilities to perform peacekeeping operations in support of United Nations and African Union mandates, while shaping the security environment and deterring violent extremist organizations. It also provides an excellent opportunity to build relationships with partner countries in Africa who share a similar vision of security and stability.
“For ten years now, U.S. Africa Command has worked together with our African partners in exercises like Shared Accord. These exercises are a great opportunity for our partners like you to build your defense capabilities, to respond to crises on the continent, and to deter and defeat transnational threats.” Said Ambassador Peter Vrooman, adding that “when we work together, we can better support your efforts to establish a secure, stable, and prosperous African continent.”
The exercise host, Rwanda, is one of the world’s largest peacekeeper-contributing countries, and one of the first to deploy peacekeepers to the Central African Republic in 2014. Currently, the Rwanda Defence Forces maintains one infantry battalion and a level two hospital under MINUSCA. Rwandan troops are specifically charged with providing security for high-ranking government officials and securing key state installations.
The exercise comprised of three phases that included the academic phase aimed at enhancing participants’ understanding of the UN system and conduct of the peace operations, the Military Component Planning Process (MCPP) and the command post exercise based on the selected course of action and with more than 100 scenarios exercised.