Rwanda, Cameroon make major changes in their military positions after Gabon coup

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Rwanda and Cameroon have unveiled significant shifts in their security forces, impacting senior military personnel.

In Rwanda, President Paul Kagame retired hundreds of soldiers, coinciding with the advancement of young soldiers within the nation’s security framework. New generals have also been appointed to lead army divisions situated across the country.

The Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) released a statement disclosing Kagame’s approval of the retirement of twelve generals, eighty-three senior officers, and six junior officers. Additionally, eighty-six senior non-commissioned officers will be retired. About 678 soldiers retired as their contracts concluded, with 160 others medically discharged.

Prominent figures from Rwanda’s 1994 liberation war, including Gen. James Kabarebe, Gen. Fred Ibingira, and Lt. Gen. Charles Kayonga, are among the retirees. Both Kabarebe and Kayonga previously held the position of chief of defense staff of the Rwandan army.

On the same day, Kagame elevated several young officers to the rank of colonel and designated new generals to lead military divisions. Other retirees encompass Lt. Gen. Frank Mushyo Kamanzi, currently Rwanda’s ambassador to Russia, and Maj. Gen. Albert Murasira, a former defense minister.

In June, Kagame appointed Juvenal Marizamunda as the new defense minister, succeeding Albert Murasira, who had held the role since 2018.

In parallel, Cameroon’s President Paul Biya, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, enacted fresh appointments within the Defense Ministry’s central administrative unit, as outlined in a decree shared on social media.