Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda and the Commander-in-Chief of the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF), has approved the retirement of 95 military generals and senior officers, along with 930 junior soldiers. Notably, General James Kabarebe, the former Minister of Defence and Chief of Defence Staff, holds a prominent position among the retirees.
The list of individuals affected by this decision was published on the official website of the Rwanda Defence Force on Wednesday. This announcement coincided with recent occurrences of military coups in Niger Republic and Gabon.
Before his retirement, General Kabarebe held the role of special advisor to the president on security matters.
The retirement move encompasses diverse circumstances. Some retirees have reached the age of 65, considered the retirement age, while others are being retired due to misconduct.
The statement released by the military confirmed, “The president has also approved the retirement of 83 senior officers, 06 junior officers, and 86 senior Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOS), along with 678 whose contracts are ending, and 160 who are being discharged on medical grounds.”
Before the retirements were executed, President Kagame promoted several lieutenant colonels to the position of colonels and brigade commanders.
While the statement did not explicitly explain the reasons behind the retirements, President Kagame previously addressed leaders in the nation on the importance of preserving unity. He articulated, “Our history has demonstrated the destructive nature of division. Conversely, our unity has driven our country’s transformation.
We have individuals who have experienced personal losses due to division, and others whose family members have been involved in divisive actions. Everyone has felt the repercussions of division.”
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