Gabon coup: Rwanda’s President for 23 Years Retires High ranking Army Officers
Rwanda’s President, Paul Kagame, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF), approved the retirement of 95 military generals and senior officers as well as 930 junior soldiers.
General James Kabarebe, the nation’s former Minister of Defence and Chief of Defence Staff, is first on the list of retirees.
In a statement posted on the official website of the Rwanda Defence Force on Wednesday, those affected were identified.
The statement coincided with recent military takeovers in Gabon and the Niger Republic.
General Kabarebe was the president’s personal security advisor from his appointment until his retirement.
According to local media, some retirees had reached the retirement age of 65, while others had been charged with misconduct.
“The president has also approved the retirement of 83 senior officers, 6 junior officers, 86 senior NCOS, 678 end of contract, and 160 medical discharges,” the statement partly read.
The president of Uganda elevated some lieutenant colonels to the ranks of colonels and brigade commanders before they retired.
Although the statement did not explicitly specify the causes of the retirement of more than 600 military commanders, the president had previously spoken to opinion leaders about the importance of maintaining national unity.
“Our history has been an example of how destructive division can be. We have also seen that it is our unity that has led to our country’s transformation. We have people who lost their family members, others who have family members who are perpetrators, and everyone has suffered the consequences of division. The only solution to this is unity. We cannot accept to return to the destructive practise of division. That would be self destruction.” President Kagame said
In response to the news, some users on X (previously Twitter) asserted it was a coup prevention technique, while others praised the soldiers for their more than three decades of service to the country.
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