President Paul Kagame has met with Rwanda’s top security brass amid growing security tensions with neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
For over two years, both Rwanda and DRC have maintained heavily-armed forces along the common border, alarming the region.
Rwanda’s presidency on Wednesday night said Kagame, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF), “chaired a High Command Council attended by active and retired RDF senior officers, senior officers from the Rwanda National Police (RNP), the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB), and Rwanda Correctional Service (RCS).”
No further details were given by the presidency.
However, Moses Asinguza, a regional security analyst, says the meeting was possibly aimed at jointly assessing the internal and external security threats faced by Rwanda.
“The President possibly wanted to engage and listen to retired and serving commanders on the evolving security situation in the country and region, especially, DRC,” said Asinguza.
Rwandan security services recently arrested the former Inspector General of Police, Emmanuel Gasana over alleged corrupt practices.
President Kagame also reshuffled his top army commanders and security chiefs.
The High Command Council meeting also comes against the backdrop of increased fighting between Congolese forces and M23 rebels in eastern DRC.
Rwanda accuses Kinshasa of arming and encouraging the Rwandan genocidal militia group, FDLR, to attack Rwandan territory.
On the other hand, DRC accuses Rwanda of backing the M23 rebels to destabilise and exploit the mineral-rich region.
Both countries deny the counter accusations.
The war in Congo has strained the two neighbours’ bilateral relations to an extent that DRC President Felix Tshisekedi said he was considering building a wall along the 250-km common border.
It is understood Congo recently bought modern combat drones, trained and armed over 40,000 troops in preparation for war with Rwanda.
The United States’ Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken recently called Kagame and Tshisekedi with the view of de-escalating the tensions between the two neighbours over the M23 rebellion.