Rwanda's Paul Kagame appoints new Foreign minister in Cabinet reshuffle
- Rwanda President Kagame drops seasoned diplomat Richard Sezibera.
- Dr Sezibera has not been seen in public since July after he was hospitalised.
- Veteran politician Vincent Biruta takes over as Rwanda and Uganda seek to normalise ties following frosty relations over accusations of espionage and harassment of citizens.
Rwanda's President Paul Kagame has replaced his Foreign Affairs minister in a Cabinet reshuffle announced on Monday evening.
Richard Sezibera, who has served as the top diplomat for one year, has been replaced by veteran politician Vincent Biruta.
Dr Sezibera has not been seen in public since July after he was hospitalised. His duties were allocated to State Minister for Regional Affairs Olivier Nduhungirehe.
Dr Sezibera, who served as the secretary general of the East African Community from 2011 to 2016, replaced long-serving Louise Mushikiwabo as Foreign Minister in October 2018, who now heads the Francophonie bloc from Paris.
Mr Biruta, 60, has served as the Minister for Environment and President of the Senate, among other ministerial positions.
He is also the president of the Social Democratic Party, one of the small parties in a coalition with ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF).
Mr Biruta takes over as Rwanda and Uganda seek to normalise ties following frosty relations over accusations of espionage and harassment of citizens.
President Kagame also reshuffled top army commanders, appointing Gen Jean-Bosco Kazura as the Chief of Staff of Rwanda Defence Forces.
The 56-year-old army veteran replaces General Patrick Nyanvumba, who has served in that capacity since 2013 and has now been appointed minister in the newly created Ministry of Internal Security.
Besides being an army general, Gen Kazura is a renowned football fan who headed the Rwanda Football Federation for two terms between 2006 and 2011.
He was arrested in June 2010 for being away without leave and for traveling to South Africa without permission – and released after spending a month in military detention.
He rebounded from his debacles later in 2013 when he was appointed as Force Commander of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali.
Gen Fred Ibingira has returned as Chief of Staff of the Reserve Force, a position he had previously held for eight years before being sacked last year.
He has replaced Lt Gen Jacques Musemakweli, who is now the Inspector General of the RDF, which is a newly created office.
Mr Kagame also split the Ministry of Sports and Culture and appointed Ms Aurore Mimosa Munyangaju to head the sports docket.
Ms Munyangaju has landed a political job and her appointment has come as a surprise for many. She was the CEO of local insurance firm Sonarwa.