Rwanda has recently undergone a significant reshuffling of its military personnel, with over 600 military officers being retired, as reported by Anadolu Agency.
This move comes in the wake of a coup in Gabon, prompting President Paul Kagame to initiate major shifts within the country’s security forces.
President Kagame’s decision to retire a substantial number of soldiers coincided with the promotion of several young officers within Rwanda’s security establishment. Additionally, newly appointed generals have been tasked with leading army divisions stationed across various regions of the country.
According to a statement released by the Rwanda Defense Force (RDF), President Kagame has sanctioned the retirement of twelve generals, 83 senior officers, and six junior officers. Moreover, 86 senior non-commissioned officers have been granted retirement at the President’s behest. Of the retired soldiers, 678 saw their contracts come to an end, while 160 others were discharged due to medical reasons.
Notably, some veterans who played pivotal roles in Rwanda’s liberation war back in 1994 are among those stepping down. Figures like Gen. James Kabarebe, Gen. Fred Ibingira, and Lt. Gen. Charles Kayonga, who have held influential positions in the past including chief of defense staff, are among the retirees.
In parallel, President Kagame also announced promotions for young officers to the rank of colonel and appointed fresh generals to oversee key military divisions.
Among the retired officers are noteworthy individuals such as Lt. Gen. Frank Mushyo Kamanzi, who presently serves as Rwanda’s ambassador to Russia, and Maj. Gen. Albert Murasira, a former defense minister.
This series of military leadership changes follows President Kagame’s earlier appointment of Juvenal Marizamunda as the new defense minister, replacing Albert Murasira, who had held the position since 2018.
While Rwanda enacts these extensive military reforms, neighboring Cameroon, under the tenure of President Paul Biya, another of Africa’s long-serving leaders, has also witnessed adjustments within its Defense Ministry’s central administrative unit. A decree detailing these appointments was recently made public via social media platforms.