President Paul Kagame in his power as Commander-in-Chief has made crucial promotions and appointments in the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) top leadership.
In a communique released this September 4, 2021, Kagame respectively promoted and appointed former RDF Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel (Lt. Col) Innocent
Munyengango to the rank of Colonel and subsequently the Chief of the Joint Staff-J5.
The Joint Staff J5 is one of the army chains of command which proposes strategies, plans, and policy recommendations to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to support his provision of military advice across the full spectrum of national security concerns.
The President also promoted Lt. Col Claver Karara to the rank of Colonel.
All the promotions come into immediate effect according to the press communique.
The appointments this month follow other three (3) similar or relatively equal appointments where in June 2021, President Kagame also promoted Colonel Pascal Muhizi to the rank of Brigadier General.
In the same month, Kagame also promoted Lt. Col JP Nyirubutama, Lt Col Callixte Kalisa, Lt. Col Francis Ngabo Sebicundanyi and Lt. Col Ronald Rwivanga (the current Army Spokesman)- all to the rank of Colonel.
These promotions also followed earlier appointments where Lieutenant General Mubarakh Muganga assumed office as new Army Chief of Staff while Lieutenant General Jean Jacques Mupenzi took over as Air Force Chief of Staff and Major General Emmanuel Bayingana appointed as Permanent Secretary in the Defence Ministry.
In May, Kagame also made major appointments in the army, appointing Brigadier General Joseph Demali as defence attaché to Turkey, while Lt. Col Stanislas Gashugi was promoted to colonel and appointed defence attaché to Tanzania.
Also, Major Ephrem Ngoga was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and appointed defence attaché to Kenya, Major Eustache Rutabuzwa appointed defence attaché to Canada.
Among others promoted from the rank of lieutenant to the rank of captain were 665 officers, and 319 officers promoted from the rank of second lieutenant to the rank of lieutenant.
The RDF was also affected by the untimely death of Lt Gen Jacques Musemakweli who passed on February 11, 2021 following a natural death at the Rwanda Military Hospital, in Kanombe.