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Rwanda’s Military Deployments in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Neoclassical Realist Account


The Rwanda Defence Force recently staged military operations against insurgents in Mozambique and the Central African Republic. Both actions were performed outside regional or multinational efforts. This makes the contemporary actions of Rwanda outliers in the international relations of Sub-Saharan Africa and heralds shifts in conflict management on the continent. An explanation is found in the application of neoclassical realist theory to the case of Rwanda – a first – as the country’s leaders have taken advantage of a permissive strategic environment, high clarity, leaders’ beliefs and a strategic culture to produce the output of extra-regional military deployments.
Keywords: Rwanda; neoclassical realism; foreign policy; security provider; defence diplomacy