President Kagame approved the retirement of the officers as new generals are appointed. Photo: Reuters

Rwanda has announced major changes in its security forces affecting high-ranking military personnel.

A statement by the Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) showed President Paul Kagame had “approved the retirement of a dozen generals, 83 senior officers and six junior officers.”

Kagame also authorised the retirement of 86 senior non-commissioned officers, the statement said.

At least 678 soldiers were retired after their contracts ended while 160 others were discharged on medical grounds.

Old guard

The move by President Kagame followed promotions of a number of young soldiers in the country’s security apparatus and appointments of new generals to head army divisions stationed in different parts of the country.

The statement indicated that many members of the old guard who fought in Rwanda’s liberation war in 1994 such as Gen. James Kabarebe, Gen. Fred Ibingira and Lt. Gen. Charles Kayonga were among the retirees.

Both Kabarebe and Kayonga previously served as chief of defense staff of the Rwandan army during separate periods.

Earlier on Wednesday, Kagame also promoted a number of young officers to the rank of colonel and appointed new generals to head military divisions.

Others retired included Lt. Gen. Frank Mushyo Kamanzi, who is Rwanda’s ambassador to Russia, and Maj. Gen. Albert Murasira, a former defense minister.

In June, Kagame appointed Juvenal Marizamunda as defense minister, replacing Albert Murasira, who had served in the post since 2018.