Rwandan President Paul Kagame has removed the military’s Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Patrick Nyamvumba from his position and appointed him Minister of Internal Affairs.
Nyamvumba had served as army chief since 2013.
The changes in the military leadership were expected considering other elderly generals including James Kabarebe, Jack Nziza and Karenzi Karake were gradually removed from command positions.
Many were retired while others transferred to take on political assignments, paving way for more youthful officers to run the show.
The new development also comes against the backdrop of increased insecurity in different parts of Rwanda as rebels continue waging attacks.
Kagame has previously warned of his military’s determination to keep him in power, saying rebel attacks would not lead to anything tangible.
But the appointment of Nyamvumba as Internal Affairs Minister underscores Kagame’s main focus – internal security amid regional security threats.
Nyamvumba was replaced by Major General Jean Bosco Kazura who was elevated to the rank of General.
Lt Gen Jacques Musemakweli who was appointed as the Reserve Force Chief of Staff (RFCOS) on 09 April 2019 has been transferred Inspector General of RDF, a supervisory but extremely powerful role.
A former commander of the Republican Guard, Musemakweli is being elevated in position mainly for his unquestionable loyalty to Kagame.
Before his appointment as RFCOS, he was the Army Chief of Staff (ACOS); a position he held since 08 February 2016.
Gen Fred Ibingira will replace Musemakweli as Reserve Force Chief of Staff.
Interestingly, Kagame also kicked out Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Richard Sezibera who is said to have suffered a mini stroke.
Dr Vincent Biruta is replacing Sezibera who leaves Cabinet immediately to recuperate from the ailment.
Ibingira will be deputized by Maj Gen Innocent Kabandana who has been serving as Special Operations forces commander.
The new special forces commander is Colonel Karusisi Ruki who has been elevated to Brigadier General.
Karusisi is said to be leading Rwandan forces deployed in Eastern Congo.
The RDF recently killed the top leaders of Rwanda National Congress and FDLR in Congo.
Karusisi, who previously served as Head of Operations at the Republican Guard, will be deputized by Lt Col Emmanuel Kanobayire.
Brigadier Didas Ndahiro who attended the U.S war college will serve as commandant RDC Command and Staff College.
Kagame also elevated his Principal Private Secretary Lt Col Patrick Karuretwa to the rank of Colonel.
Below are other appointments made by Kagame on Tuesday morning, according to a statement from the Defence Ministry seen by ChimpReports.
BRIGADIER GENERAL EPHREM RURANGWA IS APPOINTED THE COMMANDANT OF RWANDA MILITARY ACADEMY – GAKO.
COLONEL JAMES RUZIBIZA IS PROMOTED TO BRIGADIER GENERAL AND APPOINTED COMMANDER OF ENGINEERING BRIGADE.
COLONEL JOSEPH KAREGIRE IS APPOINTED CHIEF J3 (OPERATIONS AND TRAINING).
COLONEL FAUSTIN KALISA IS APPOINTED CHIEF J1 (PERSONNEL).
COLONEL ADOLPHE SIMBIZI IS APPOINTED CHIEF J4 (LOGISTICS).
COLONEL JEAN PAUL KARANGWA IS APPOINTED COMMANDER OF MILITARY POLICE.
LIEUTENANT COLONEL PATRICK KARURETWA IS PROMOTED TO COLONEL.
LIEUTENANT COLONEL JULES RWIRANGIRA IS PROMOTED TO COLONEL AND APPOINTED COMMANDER OF ARTILLERY DIVISION.
LIEUTENANT COLONEL LAUSANNE INGABIRE IS APPOINTED CHIEF J9 (CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS).
MAJOR REGIS RWAGASANA SANKARA IS PROMOTED TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL.