Rwanda Defence Force


Rwanda Defence Force

1. Order of battle
2. Overview
3. Defence economics
4. State of military forces
5. Country threat report
6. External deployments

1. Order of Battle

Total force strength Army: 32 000
Air: 1 000
Paramilitary: 2 000
Armour 24: T- 55/54
Reconnaissance 12: VBL M11
106: AML-60/90
AIFV 35: Ratel 60/90
APC 25: RG-31 Nyala
20: RG-32 Scout
12: M-3
20: ZFB-05
Towed artillery 29: Type-54 105 mm
6: D-30 152 mm
Multiple Rocket Launcher 5: RM-70 Dana 122 mm
5: Lynx
Mortar 115: 81/82/120 mm
Anti-tank Blindicide 83 mm
Air defence gun 150: 14.5/23/37 mm
Structure 1st Division (HQ in Kigali, Central/Eastern regional command)
2nd Division (HQ in Byumba (Northern/Eastern regional command)
3rd Division (HQ Gisenyi, Northern/Western regional command)
4th Division (HQ in Butare, Southern/Western regional command)
Air Force
Transport aircraft 3: An-8 Camp (reported)
1: BN-2A Islander (reported)
VIP aircraft 1: B707 (reported)
1: Gulfstream G550
1: Bombardier Global Express
Combat helicopter 5: Mi-24 Hind
Transport helicopter 9: Mi-17 Hip
4: SA 342 A

2. Overview
Head of State: President Paul Kagame
Prime Minister: Pierre Damien Habumuremyi
Minister of Defence and National Security: General James Kabarebe
Chief of Defence Staff: Lieutenant General Patrick Nyamvumba
Chief of Staff of the Army: Major Gen Jacques Musemakweli
Chief of Staff of the Air Force: Brigadier General Joseph Demali
Commander of the Republican Guard: MajOR Gen Alex Kagame
Member of: UN, AU, EAC, AfDB etc.
3. Defence economics
Defence budget percentage per GDP (2000-2010)

Defence budget per US$ Mil (2000-2011)

Defence budget percentage growth (2000-2011)

4. State of military forces

The Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) is made up of the High Command Council, General Staff, the Rwanda Land Force, the Rwanda Air Force and specialized inter-service units. The RDF’s mission is to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and defend its territorial integrity, cooperate with other security institutions in keeping and restoring law and order and enforcing the law, responding to disasters and participating in national development.

The Rwandan army is small yet well trained and responsive to elected officials, thanks to aggressive efforts to professionalise the service. This professionalism is assisted by peacekeeping experience in places like Darfur and Liberia. Foreign countries, notably the US and UK, have assisted the RDF in capacity building and peacekeeping deployment.

Defence spending continues to be high due to security concerns along the borders with Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Rwanda has been accused of supporting rebels in the DRC (notably the M23 movement) by the United Nations and other organisations.
5. Country threat report

Threat type Overview
External • Incursions into Rwanda by the DRC based FDLR has been reported by the Rwandese government in late 2012.
• Fighting between government, UN and rebel groups in the eastern DRC has reportedly spilled over into Rwanda after several mortar shells landed in Rwanda. The Rwandan government claims they were fired by the DRC military.
Internal • Several grenade attacks against the local populace have occurred over the last 5 years with no specific group claiming responsibility.
Regional • The internal security situations in the DRC, Uganda, and Burundi may affect Rwanda’s foreign security policy.
Political • Rwanda is currently considered to be politically stable.
Economic • 90% of Rwanda’s populace is engage in subsistence farming and agriculture accounted for 33% of the country’s GDP in 2012 while its industrial sector accounted for 16%.
• Rwanda’s services sector accounted for 43.6% of GDP in 2010.

 6. External deployments

Operation Country Personnel/assets
Peacekeeping  Haiti (MINUSTAH) Police: 180
Peacekeeping Sudan/Darfur (UNAMID) Police: 212
Experts on Mission: 11
Troops: 3240
Peacekeeping South Sudan (UNMISS) Police: 45
Experts on Mission: 3
Troops: 967


Ministry of National Defence

PO Box 23



Phone : +250 252577942

E-mail : [email protected]

Website :