Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What's going on in Rwanda?

Reports emerged in the press today that President Kagame had arrested two high-ranking generals: Karenzi Karake and Charles Muhire (in the middle in this picture, between Gen Kayonga and Gen Kayizari). This is the next in a series of rumblings within the military establishment of the RPF. As I have written here before, there have been many RPF cadres who have left the country since 1994 to go into exile, but never so many high-ranking military officers from within the inner circle. Kayumba Nyamwasa, Patrick Karegeya, Charles Muhire and Karenzi Karake are all Ugandan-born Tutsi, all probably in the top 20 or so most influential officers in the army.

Bizarrely, Kagame had just promoted Muhire to the Chief of Staff of the army reserve, from head of the air force. Why would he promote him, only to arrest him a week later?

The BBC also reports that the president gave his presidential guard a raise a few months ago, but didn't increase the pay of regular soldiers. The same article suggests that the independent Kinyarwanda newspapers that were shut down last week had reported on problems between Karenzi Karake, Charles Muhire and the president.

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