By Erasme Rugemintwaza
As Rwanda continues its military operations in the Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, it is now embroiled in fierce clashes with the rebels; this is why it plans to use unmanned combat aircraft, commonly known as “drones”.
This is due to the fact that in this war, the Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) could not continue the fighting easily, because they had serious problems in the forests where the rebels were hiding; the rebels are so used to it that the intruder does not know where the shots are coming from. Penetrating this forests is also difficult, as the roads are strewn with numerous anti-person and anti-tank mines.
The use of “drones” in these forests would then allow the Rwandan army to reduce human losses and to be able to combat the rebels without direct face- to- face confrontations.
It is in this context that Rwanda is eyeing the capacity of Turkey to manufacture “drones” of the type of STM KARGU Kamikaze, ASELSAN, OTOKAR, HAVELSAN, BAYRAKTAR TB2 and others.
This type of “drone” was recently launched by Turkey, and among its most prominent clients is Rwanda, according to a recent Africa Intelligence report from September 27, 2021. This also comes three weeks after the Minister of Rwanda Foreign Affairs Dr. Vincent Biruta and his delegation paid a working visit to Turkey on 05/09/2021 to discuss diplomatic, military, trade relations and more.
According to the latest information, Africa Intelligence reports that Rwanda plans to purchase at least a dozen “drones”, which will be mainly used in the war in Mozambique.
Although Turkish “drones” are very reliable, they are cheaper than those of the UK, France, the US and other superpowers. The aforementioned Turkish planes are said to cost between two and ten million US dollars each, or between two and ten billion Rwandan francs. This means that the ten planes that Rwanda needs can cost a hundred billion Rwandan francs.
If President Kagame always says that Rwanda has no financial interest in Mozambique, where does he get these colossal sums of money he is investing in this war? And why a very expensive investment, in men and money? How will these amounts be recovered? This question remains unanswered!