Rwanda, Cameroon Take Defensive Measures Amidst Rising Coups In Africa
Leaders Respond to Unrest with Military Shake-ups, Seeking Stability Amidst Rising Tensions
As political turmoil continues to sweep across the African continent, several leaders are proactively reshuffling their defense portfolios in response to the escalating situation.
In recent developments, Cameroon’s President Paul Biya and Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame have both announced significant changes within their respective defense establishments.
On Wednesday, President Paul Biya of Cameroon unveiled a series of major adjustments to the country’s Ministry of Defense, reflecting his determination to address the evolving security landscape.
Key figures affected by this reshuffle include the delegate to the presidency in charge of defense, air force staff, navy personnel, and high-ranking police officials. Biya, who initially ascended to power through a coup d’état in 1982, has been at the helm of the nation for over four decades. His tenure has been marked by both political controversy and allegations of human rights violations.
Meanwhile, in a separate move, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has approved a comprehensive retirement plan for 83 senior officers within the Rwandan Defense Force (RDF).
The announcement was made via the social media platform known as X (formerly Twitter). Kagame’s decision also encompasses the promotion and appointment of new officers to fill the vacated positions. This strategic maneuver aims to refresh the leadership structure of the RDF, a pivotal institution within the Rwandan political framework.
Intriguingly, the reshuffles by Presidents Kagame and Biya coincide with the sudden military coup in Gabon, which has disrupted the 53-year-long dominance of power by the Bongo family.
President Ali Bongo, who was recently re-elected for a third term amidst accusations of electoral fraud, now faces a challenging shift in the political landscape of the Central African nation.
Addressing the wave of coups and the surge of “sit-tight” leadership across the continent, Nigerian President Bola Tinubu expressed deep concern over the trend of “contagious autocracy.”
In his role as chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Tinubu is collaborating with the African Union (AU) and global leaders to restore constitutional order and stability to nations grappling with political upheaval.
Analysts attribute the recent surge of coups to a growing discontent with prolonged leadership tenures in several African countries. The ripple effect of this dissatisfaction has led to a higher frequency of power struggles and uprisings, as nations grapple with the complex task of ensuring political and social stability.
As Africa navigates these turbulent times, leaders are opting for strategic defense reshuffles as a means of securing their positions and safeguarding national interests. The continent watches with bated breath as these developments unfold and their implications become clearer in the coming weeks.