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Rwanda and Cameroon Move to Avert Coup

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CEM REPORT, GOVERNANCE | Rwanda and Cameroon have taken steps to prevent the surge of military coups from hitting their borders.

Niger Republic, Mali, Sudan, Burkina Faso, and Guinea-Bissau have recently experienced a coup which has sacked democratically elected leaders and handed power to the military.

Latest on the list is Gabon whose military on Tuesday night announced that it has seized power from President Ali Bongo.

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While local and international conglomerates have condemned the act, and the question of why the sudden spread of military coups across the continent remains a puzzle, Rwanda and Cameroon have restructured their military in what seems like a move to prevent a military takeover.

The move comes hours after the Gabon military announced the seizure of power.

According to the News Times (Rwanda), Rwandan President Paul Kagame has approved the retirement of 83 military personnel including 12 Rwandan Defence Force (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 would help to arrest the whirlwind of military coups currently spreading within the African continent.

Kagame also approved the promotion and appointment of some officers to replace them, RDF added. The moves take immediate effect.

The Rwandan president, who has been in power since 2000, is one of the continent’s longest-serving leaders. A 2015 amendment to the country’s constitution means he can stay in power until 2034.

Cameroon’s President Paul Biya on his part has made changes to the Central African country’s Ministry of Defence.

An official document coming from the president’s Twitter handle carried out this instruction. The instruction removed certain soldiers from their positions while redeploying others within the country’s defence department.

The Cameroonian president began his reign in 1982 after a coup. While he later allowed for elections after severe criticisms of oppression and human rights abuses, Biya, 90, has remained president.

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