Rwanda: Only one out of 10 Colonels promoted to the rank of Brigadier General is a Hutu

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Brigadier General Evariste Murenzi.

Only one out of 10 Colonels promoted to the rank of Brigadier General is a Hutu. His name is Col. Evariste Murenzi. And of course, he was never recruited by the RPA.

Right from the beginning Hutus were not enrolled into the RPA for ‘security reasons’.

Since its inception, this army has chosen to remain an ethnic militia. This contradiction is at the epicentre of our political stalemate. An ethnic army cannot defend a nation. Only a national army can do the job.

Before 1990, our army was also ethnic. The Tutsis were locked out of the force, especially in sensitive units/command positions.

During colonialism, Rwanda had no army since it was dissolved by the Belgians after the defeat of the Germans in 1916.

Before colonialism, Hutus were also locked out of commanding positions and sensitive units of the kingdom’s army. Again, there was no correspondence between the character of the army and the character of the nation.

This contradiction must be resolved.

The fact that 25 years after the launch of its armed fight for power the RPA ethnic character (mission/composition/doctrine & operations) has been entrenched instead of being gradually eliminated means that this contradiction cannot be resolved through internal reform (internal process by the RPA/F system itself). In fact, the RPA was never conceived as a national army right from the beginning when its members were recruited and its cells/units curved out of the NRA in Uganda in the 1980’s.

It means that only an external process can/will resolve that contradiction. In other words, only a revolutionary process will resolve this old internal contradiction of the Rwandan society.

Therefore, the issue is not what to do but how to do it.

Yohani Mbera

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