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Why Rwanda's Kagame Dismissed Top Army Generals

Sacking of senior commanders and officers follows appointment of new defence minister and army chief
posted onJune 8, 2023

President Paul Kagame has made sweeping changes at the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) and appointed a new minister and head of the army.

At the top of the list of changes was the firing of two senior commanders and more than 200 soldiers with immediate effect.

He dismissed RDF Major-General Aloys Muganga, Brigadier-General Francis Mutiganda, as well as 14 commissioned officers.

"He (Kagame) has also authorised the dismissal of 116 other ranks and approved the rescission of service contracts of 122 other ranks," said the statement from his office.

Army spokesman Brig Gen Ronald Rvivanga told local media that two long-serving generals, Major General Aloys Muganga and Brigadier General Francis Mutiganda, had been sacked for "indiscipline".

"According to the law, this means that they have to hand over military equipment and leave the army without any benefits because of what they did," he said, without elaborating.

Muganga was appointed in 2018 to the position of Reserve Force Chief of Staff (RFCOS) taking over from General Fred Ibingira who retired.

The same year, Mutiganda was redeployed from the Director-General, External Security at the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), back to RDF Headquarters.

The changes by Kagame came a day after he also appointed 58-year-old Juvenal Marizamunda as the country's 11th  defence minister since independence in 1962.

The head of the RDF is now Lieutenant-General Mubarak Muganga (no relation to Major-General Aloys Muganga), who takes over from General Jean Bosco Kazura.

The RDF is made up of three arms, with the reserve force made up of part-time military personnel who may be recalled whenever necessary to operate alongside the army and the air force.

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