Rwanda: Senior Rwanda Defence Forces officers booted out of army over failed coup plot
Around 1800 Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) members were forcefully demobilized recently, a few weeks after the independent newspaper Umuseso reported a failed coup to oust Maj. Gen. Paul Kagame, Rwanda’s President since the resignation and subsequent arrest and detention of first post-genocide President of the Republic Pasteur Bizimungu, in 2000 and 2002 respectively.
A group of RDF senior officers including Maj. Gen. Kayizari Ceaser, Brig. Frank Rusagara and Brig. Eric Murokore were forcefully demobilized while others like Brig. Jean-Bosco Kazura, former Special Presidential Advisor on Security and Defence and Col. Tom Byabagamba, the once mighty Commanding Officer of the Presidential Protection Unit, were relieved of their duties, in what observers describe as the result of cold but tough infightings within the army, Kagame regime’s centre of power.
Persistent rumours in Kigali City and on Rwandan Internet based discussion groups add that Brig. Frank Rusagara, former Commandant of Rwandan Military Academy, located in the premises of the former National University of Rwanda campus of Nyakinama, now in Musanze District, former Ruhengeri Prefecture, has fled the central African tiny country amidst RPF controlled media’s public relations campaigns presenting Rwanda as a stable state.
Last December, Col. Mulisa and Col. Kamili Karege were arrested and accused of coup attempt against Paul Kagame’s government in a closed doors Supreme Court deliberation, a charge they denied according to Umuseso. The duo is detained in undisclosed detention facilities and don’t receive any visits neither from relatives nor from national or international Human Rights activists, according to well informed sources in the Army.
If confirmed, Brig. Frank Rusagara’s flight would be a grave manifestation of increasing tensions within the RPF centre of power where three groups of courtesans, one closed to Gen. James Kabarebe, RDF Chief of Defence Force and former Kagame’s aide de camp, cronies closed to Col. Emmanuel Ndahiro, the Chief of National Security Service and former Kagame’s personal doctor and those closed to James Musoni, current Minister of Finance and most influent civilian cadre in RPF government who is also in charge of Rwandese Patriotic Front finance commission.
Observers notice that a wave of dissent whithin the RDF occurred since Kagame engaged himself in rat-cat dirty and bloody game in Eastern DR Congo where he used and abused Congolese Tutsis in a proxy-war led by renegade FARDC officer Laurent Nkunda in the name of protecting his fellow ethnic brothers and sister’s against what he once called a new genocide before sending his troops directly with the consent of DR Congo’s President Joseph Kabila.
While in Kinshasa, the consequences of the so-called joint-operations were discussed in the media, in Kigali where freedom of the press doesn’t exist, the manifestations of discontent are silent but more intense not within the civil society but within the military, a state of things that shows that Rwanda is rather under military rule since July 1994.
French judge Jean-Louis Bruguière accused Paul Kagame of having masterminded the shooting down of the Rwandan presidential jet in April 1994, a terrorist attack that observers consider as the trigger of Rwandan genocide while Spanish judge Andreu Merelles accused him of genocide and crimes against humanity committed in Rwanda and in DR Congo. But both judges didn’t issue any arrest warrants against him because their national laws don’t allow such action against a sitting Head of State.
United Democratic Forces (UDF) is the main political organization of the Rwandan opposition in exile. Recently, the UDF leadership has made it clear that UDF-Inkingi will take part in the 2010 presidential elections in Rwanda. However, reliable sources attest that the RPF government in Kigali is planning to block UDF’s participation to this presidential race.