For the fifth time since 2013, the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) retires its military personnel in accordance with the RDF Special Statute. src:MINADEF.
During the 2017 retirement phase, a total of 817 service personnel including 369 career Officers and Other Ranks are set for retirement and 378 military personnel are concluding their service contracts with the RDF, while 70 others are being discharged on medical grounds.
A send-off ceremony to honor their service to the nation took place at Senior Officers’ Mess at Kimihurura, on 17 July 2017.
The ceremony was presided over by Hon. Gen James Kabarebe, the Minister of Defence.
Among the retirees include Lt Gen E Karenzi Karake, Maj Gen Jack Nziza and Brig Gen John Gashayija Bagirigomwa.
In his keynote address, Gen James Kabarebe deeply thanked the retiring military personnel for their valued contribution in the liberation of Rwanda and stopping the Genocide against the Tutsi. “On behalf of the Commander-in-Chief, I wish to extend the gratitude and appreciation to those who are retiring today for their selflessness in the liberation struggle and contribution to the process of developing their country” Honorable Minister of Defense said.
He urged the officers and men to use their experience and expertise to continue supporting the nation in whatever they will be engaged in, “The country still needs your support and experience to develop “, Gen Kabarebe told the Retirees.
Lt Gen E Karenzi Karake who spoke on behalf of the Retiring Officers thanked the RDF Leadership, the RDF Commander-in-Chief, HE President Paul Kagame, in particular, for advice and enduring values in their journey of military service.
“We are retired but not tired, we have had the honour to be part of a force that the Chairman of the High Command, then, referred to as ‘musingi wa chama’, and we have had the honour of serving under a very able, visionary and respectable leadership. It’s now the time to hang up our uniform, roll up the sleeves of our new dress and begin playing the role of a responsible citizen while keeping in mind our reserve responsibilities”, he said.
Similar send-off ceremonies were conducted for Junior Officers and other Ranks in their respective Units.