Following the military coup in Gabon that ousted President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Cameroon and Rwanda have taken proactive measures to reshuffle military positions. General Brice Clotaire Ollo Obiang Nguema was declared the country’s leader after the coup, casting doubts on the transparency and legitimacy of recent presidential elections.
Cameroonian President Paul Biya recently made significant changes within the Ministry of Defense, appointing new heads of departments, including the leadership of the armed forces, air force, and navy, as well as the Inspectorate General of the Gendarmerie. These moves are seen as an attempt to prevent military coups in the region.
Similarly, Rwanda, which has seen President Paul Kagame in power since 2000, recently announced the retirement of 83 high-ranking officers, including James Kabarebe, the Chief Presidential Advisor on Security. Kagame’s rule has been extended until 2034 due to constitutional changes made in 2015.
While the sudden retirement of military personnel in Cameroon and Rwanda hasn’t been officially explained, experts believe it’s an effort to thwart the current wave of military coups in Africa. President Kagame, aged 64, has even hinted at the possibility of running for another 20 years.
These preemptive measures come in response to the uncertainty surrounding political stability and the risk of further military interventions in African nations.