INSIDE STORY: Why Kagame Replaced Army Chief Of Staff


link geneva;”>Sources in the Rwanda Defence Forces say Kagame made the reshuffle on Sunday before leaving to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the African union Summit.

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Kayizari, a bush war strategist, had held the position since April 2010.

According to a statement issued by Ministry of Defence publicist Brig Gen Joseph Nzabamwita, Lt Col Franco Rutagengwa is the new Chief of Military Intelligence.

He takes over from Brig. Gen. Richard Rutatina who is facing investigations for “significant professional failures, includine indiscipline, lack of professionalism and disregard for the RDF Chain of Command.”

Rutatina was on January 17 placed under house arrest for professional misconduct alongside Col. Dan Munyuza, the Director External Security, Brig. Gen. Wilson Gumisiriza and Chief of Staff Reserve Force boss Lt. Gen. Fred Ibingira.

However, Ibingira later returned to work after being cleared by authorities. But Gumisiriza, Munyuza and Rutatina have since been facing investigations for illegal business deals in DRC.

Kagame also replaced Munyuza with Col Francis Mutiganda.

The reasons behind the replacements are still unclear but a source said Kagame is trying to give high level positions of responsibility to a new breed of generals with fresh training from powerful military colleges.

“These new generals are modern thinkers and were too junior during the RPF war. But their hard work, loyalty and sacrifice has impressed the President,” said a source.

For example, Maj Gen Kamanzi, who was until yesterday the Commandant of the strategic Rwanda Military Academy – Gako, is a former Deputy Force Commander of the African Mission in Sudan (AMIS).

He also previously served as a defence and security advisor to the President.

According to the New Times, Kamanzi, who has also previously served as a Brigade Commander, is a graduate of National Defence University, US, where he obtained a Masters in National Security Strategy.

He is one of the two Rwandan generals who attended a UN Senior Mission Leaders Course, held in Kigali in May, this year.

Lt Col Didas Ndahiro and former military spokesperson, Lt Col Jill Rutaremara, were promoted to rank of Colonel returning from a US army war college and National Defence College, Kenya respectively.

Col Mutiganda has been working at the UN Headquarters in New York.

“The changes take immediate effect,” says Nzabamwita.


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