Rwanda President Paul Kagame has approved the retirement of 95 military generals and senior officers as well as 930 junior soldiers.
This development is coming barely 24 hours after the recent coup in Gabon, where Ali Bongo was ousted by senior military officers after winning a third term ticket in the just concluded election in the country.
The retirement was announced in a statement published on the Rwanda Defense Force’s official website on Wednesday.
Top on the list of retirees is General James Kabarebe, the country’s former Minister of Defence and Chief of Defense Staff.
Until his retirement, General Kabarebe served as the special advisor to the president on security.
Local media reports that some of those retired had attained the retirement age of 65 while others were indicted in some misconduct.
Prior to their retirement, the Rwandan president promoted several lieutenant colonels to the rank of colonels and brigade commanders.
Although the statement did not categorically state the reasons behind the retirement of over 600 military officers, the president had in previous weeks addressed opinion leaders on the need to keep the country united.
He was reported to have said, “Our history has been an example of how destructive division can be. We have also seen that it is our unity that has led to our country’s transformation.
“We have people who lost their family members, others who have family members who are perpetrators, everyone has suffered the consequences of division.
“The only solution to this is unity. We cannot accept to return to the destructive practice of division. That would be self destruction.”