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Kagame Elevates Lt Gen Mupenzi, Musemakweli in New Army Reshuffle

President Paul Kagame has made a mini reshuffle of Rwanda Defence Force’s (RDF) top leadership, appointing Lt General Jacques Musemakweli as Reserve Force Chief of Staff (RFCOS).

Musemakweli, who honed his command credentials in the Republican Guard, has been serving as Army Chief of Staff (ACOS).

He replaces Maj Gen Aloys Muganga who will now head the Mechanised Division. 

Kagame also promoted Major General Jean Jacques Mupenzi to the rank of Lieutenant General before taking over the position of ACOS. 

The command of the Reserve Force has been changed twice in a space of one year. 

The position was previously held by Lt Gen. Fred Ibingira until November 2018. 

Kagame replaced Ibingira with Muganga who served in acting capacity. 

The Ministry of Defence revealed these new appointments in a statement issued on Tuesday night.

Lt Gen Mupenzi (L) speaking at an event in Kampala recently
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The reason behind these fresh redeployments remains unclear. 

In January 2018, Kagame promoted Ibingira from Lieutenant General to General and Musemakweli to Lieutenant General from Major General.

Mupenzi was also among the Brigadiers promoted to Major General.

Mupenzi’s rise to the rank of Lieutenant General in a space of one year will leave many surprised.

In 2017, Mupenzi led the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (Unmiss). 

He recently traveled to Uganda where he chaired a meeting to plan for a joint security exercise aimed at enhancing interoperability and building capacity of the East Africa forces and partner agencies in handling the region’s security challenges as a single block.

The timing of the reshuffle is interesting considering the heightened security tension in the region. 

The Defence Ministry said the “appointments and redeployments take immediate effect.”

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