Rwandan President and commander in chief of armed forces Paul Kagame has reshuffled the army and appointed senior Rwanda officers.
In the reshuffle that was announced in a radio message on Tuesday evening, Maj. Gen. Kagame said Jean Jacques Mupenzi had been promoted and appointed new Rwanda Defence Forces Chief of Staff.
Kagame also promoted to the rank of Major General Aloys Muganga as the new commander of Mechanised division.
“RDF press release-appointments and changes within RDF, Ref:RDF/MPR/A/07/02/19 Kigali,09 April 2019. H.E The president and commander in chief of Rwand defence forces (RDF) has made the following appointments and changes within RDF; a. Major General Jean Jacqous Pupenzi is promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and appointed army chief of staff (ACOS) b. Lieutenant General Jacques Musemakweli becomes the Reserve Force chief of staff (RFCOS) while c. Major General Aloys Muganga becomes commander of the mechanized division. The appointments and redepolyment takes immediate effect” read the statement.
Gen. Musemakweli has replaced Gen. Fred Ibingira who is reportedly under house arrest.
The changes come up after the Spokesperson of Rwanda’s National Liberation Front Maj Sankara Callixte said they have no option but to fight President Paul Kagame, who he described as “a dictator and murderer”.
In an interview with Eagle online Maj Sankara said the kidnap of refugees, harassing of the opposition and lack of freedom of expression are the reasons why his group has launched an armed struggle against the Kigali regime in Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda near Burundi border.
“MRCD and our FLN we are a revolutionary movement, we are fighting for democracy! Kagame and his junta they are killing, torturing, kidnapping, non-freedom of expression, non-independent media, opposition leaders some of them are in jail for nothing, thousands of Rwandans are refuges in different countries most of them fear to lose their lives,” he said.
Mouvement Rwandais pour le Changement démocratique [MRCD] is the political and FLN is the armed wing of the a coalition of three political parties, PDR Ihumure headed by Paul Rusesabagina, CNRD headed by Gen Wilson Irategeka and RRM headed by Major Callixte Sankara that have launched an armed struggle against Kagame.
Maj Sankara said on Friday that the Rwanda Defence Forces had shelled the Bweyeye area which is heavily forested.
“They have also deployed heavily on the road from Kigali to Ruzizi which connects to the border with DR Congo. We warn people not to use that road,” he said.
Maj Sankara said the refugees would want to go back home but it’s not possible because “even exile the refugees are being hunted and killed”.
“Rwanda is in dictatorship and our mission is to liberate our compatriots oppressed by Kagame and his RPF and put in Rwanda a democratic government capable to live in peace,” he said. “12 millions of Rwandans have been taken is hostage by small group of criminals! All the economy of the country, big companies are in the hand of Kagame and RPF,”
However, yesterday during a presser in Kigali, Gen. Kagame downplayed the assertion by the rebels saying they are of less significance as RDF was fully in charge of Rwanda.