Rwandan president Kagame says term extension ‘healthy’ for country, dismisses army intelligence chief

No reason was given for the move nor a replacement named, but Kagame also appointed a new army of chief of staff

RWANDAN President Paul Kagame removed his head of military intelligence and named a new chief of staff for the country’s armed forces.

Major General Richard Rutatina’s dismissal was announced in a statement on the Defense Ministry’s website. It gave no reason for the move and didn’t say who will replace him. Major General Jacques Musemakweli was appointed army of chief of staff, with immediate effect, the ministry said.

The announcement came a day after Kagame said he had brought increased stability to the East African nation since he took office 16 years ago and extending his rule would be healthy for the country.

Kagame announced Dec. 31 he will seek re-election in a vote scheduled for next year after voters approved a change to the constitution to allow him to seek a third term.

“It’s is very much healthy for Rwanda as far as this is the choice of Rwandans,” Kagame said at a conference Tuesday in Dubai. “I don’t see any problem.”

Kagame, 58, has governed Rwanda since 2000, after he led a rebel army that ended the 1994 genocide in which 800,000 people were killed.

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