Rwanda and Cameroon have carried out some major changes days after the military coup that sacked President Ali Bongo from power in Gabon.
The coup which took place on Tuesday night not only shocked the world but forced many nations, including the UN, AU to condemn the actions of the military in Gabon. The Secretary-General of the UN said, he “firmly condemns the ongoing coup attempt as a means to resolve the post-electoral crisis.” While the AU chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat , said, “he strongly condemns the attempted coup d’état in the country as a means out of the current post-electoral crisis.”
The coup in Gabon was the latest in a series of military coups that have seen democratically elected leaders removed from the seat of power in Niger Republic, Mali, Sudan, Burkina Faso, and Guinea-Bissau.
According to the News Times (Rwanda), President Paul Kagame has approved the retirement of several RDF generals, including senior presidential advisor on security matters, James Kabarebe.
The senior military officers also include Fred Ibingira, Charles Kayonga, Frank Mushyo Kamanzi, Martin Nzaramba, Eric Murokore, Augustin Turagara, Charles Karamba, Albert Murasira, Chris Murari, Didace Ndahiro, and Emmanuel Ndahiro.
No reason was given for their unplanned retirement, only that it is suspected to help arrest the whirlwind of military coups currently spreading within the African continent.
In Cameroon, President Paul Biya, who has been in power since 1975 to help prevent his country from being on the coup list, decided to reshuffle the military with new appointments.
An official document coming from the president’s Twitter handle carried out this instruction.
The document is in French, the official language of communication and instruction in Cameroon.
The 90-year-old Biya’s decree has led to the removal of certain soldiers from their positions, with others being reassigned within the country’s defense department.
According to information from a source within the Cameroonian government, the recently appointed senior military leaders in the army now include Ajeagah Njei Felix, Kamdom Lucas, and Nguema Ondo Bertin Bourger, among several others.
Meanwhile, Edou Essono Serge Durel and Moudio Hervé have been newly appointed to positions within Cameroon’s marine corps.
— President Paul BIYA (@PR_Paul_BIYA) August 30, 2023
As a reaction to the surge in military coups across the continent and the unexpected shakeup within the military forces of Rwanda and Cameroon, an Abuja-based lawyer and war historian, who chose to remain anonymous, spoke to BusinessDay.
Read also:U.S condemn Gabon coup
He said, “They know the drill very very well. Yet, how clever can one be? How many times have we seen on Nat Geo Wild what happens to all old lions?”
On Twitter, this recent shakeup especially that by the 90-year-old Biya has generated reactions from concerned people.
Rinu Oduala, a Nigerian Twitter user with over 600,000 followers, called on Biya to step down from his position. “Why not just leave? At 90 years old?” she tweeted.