Rwanda Retires 12 Generals, Cameroon Reshuffles Defence Ministry After Gabon Coup

The moves come hours after military officers seized power in Gabon, prompting condemnations from world leaders and jubilation from residents of the oil-rich Central African nation. 


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In this file photo taken on July 26, 2022, Cameroon’s President Paul Biya waits for the arrival of France’s President Emmanuel Macron (unseen) for talks at the Presidential Palace in Yaounde. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

 

The Rwandan Defence Force (RDF) has retired 12 generals and others in a move to reshuffle the military while Cameroon’s President Paul Biya has made changes to the Central African country’s Ministry of Defence. 

Both moves are coming in the wake of the Gabon coup, the latest in a series of military takeovers in Africa.

A Wednesday statement by the RDF said President Paul Kagame has retired 83 military personnel including 12 generals.

They include: General James Kabarebe, General Fred Ibingira, Lt. Gen          Charles Kayonga, Lt Gen Frank Mushyo Kamanzi, Maj Gen Martin Nzaramba, Major General Eric Murokore, Major General Augustin Turagara, Major General Charles Karamba, Major General Albert Murasira, Brigadier General Chris Murari, Brigadier General Didace Ndahiro, Brigadier General Emmanuel Ndahiro.

Kagame also approved the promotion and appointment of some officers to replace them, RDF added. The moves take immediate effect.

The Rwandan president, who has been in power since 2000, is one of the continent’s longest-serving leaders. A 2015 amendment to the country’s constitution means he can stay in power until 2034.

Rwanda’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Lt Gen M Muganga also held meetings with HE Hazza AlQahtani, Ambassador of UAE to Rwanda, and Colonel JE ACHU, Defence Attaché of Cameroon.

“They discussed ways to enhance defence cooperation between their respective countries,” the RDF said in a tweet.

READ ALSO: Gabon President Calls On ‘Friends’ To Speak Up Over Coup

Biya Reshuffles Ministry

Just before RDF’s statement, Biya announced a reshuffling in the Central African country’s defence ministry.

“Decree appointing officials to the Ministry of Defence,” he wrote on Twitter, now known as X.

One of the posts changed was the delegate to the presidency in charge of defence, navy, police, and air force staff.

The Cameroonian president began his reign in 1982 after a coup. While he later allowed for elections after severe criticisms of oppression and human rights abuses, Biya, 90, has remained president.

Wednesday’s move comes hours after military officers seized power in Gabon, prompting condemnations from world leaders and jubilation from residents of the oil-rich Central African nation.