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Who Is Lt. Gen. Innocent Kabandana?

by Edmund Kagire
2:22 pm

Then Maj. Gen Kabandana (right) was replaced by Maj. Gen Eugene Nkubito as the joint force commander, seen here with the Mozambican Minister of Defence.

On Monday, President Paul Kagame promoted Major-General Innocent Kabandana, who until recently was commanding the operations of  Rwandan security forces in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, to the rank of Lieutenant-General.

According to the RDF, the Head of State, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, promoted Gen Kabandana’s following “his tour of duty in Mozambique” where he served as the joint task force commander of Rwandan security forces in Cabo Delgado Province, where they were deployed in July 2021 to battle Islamist armed groups.

Gen. Kabandana led the forces who operated alongside the Mozambican army to push the insurgents out and restore peace and state authority especially in Palma and Mocimboa da Praia districts, areas which had been taken over by the militants.

Rwandan and Mozambican troops in August last year captured Mocimboa da Praia, a city that had been the headquarters of the Islamic State-linked insurgents since 2015. The troops have since pushed the militants further north, ensuring the return to normal in the northern part of the country.

Gen. Kabandana, a former Rwandan special forces Commander, is considered a humble yet tough soldier with an impressive record of seeing through major operations. He holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Oklahoma Christian University, USA.

Lt. Gen Kabandana was promoted for his efforts in Mozambique.

He was one of the senior young men joined the liberation struggle 1990 and played a part in Rwanda’s liberation struggle, from 1990 to 1994 and is among the combatants that stopped the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

Over the years, he has taken on tasks ranging from combat, command, staff training and peacekeeping at tactical and operational levels in different missions across the continent. In the past, he also served as Defence Attache’ to the Embassy of Rwanda, Washington DC.

His other previous key appointments include being a Brigade staff officer in charge of Civil Military Affairs, Chief Instructor at Rwanda Military Academy in Gako, and Deputy Chief Military Personnel Officer in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan UNMISS Sudan.

Gen Kabandana was also once the Chairman of the Military Tender Board: Chief of Logistics, RDF HQ; Commandant of Rwanda Military Academy and Director of Rwanda Peace Academy.

Lt. Gen Kabandana

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