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Rwanda Defence Force discharges over 800 personnel  

KIGALI, (Xinhua) -- The Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) has discharged 817 personnel on various grounds.

A statement from the ministry of defense released on Monday night shows that those discharged include 369 career officers, 378 military personnel who concluded their service contracts with the RDF, and 70 others who were discharged on medical grounds.

This is the fifth time of such discharge since 2013, done in accordance with the RDF Special Statute.

Among the retirees include former Rwanda’s spy master, lieutenant general Karenzi Karake, major general Jack Nziza and brig general John Gashayija Bagirigomwa.

Minister of Defence James Kabarebe who presided over the discharge ceremony commended 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,” Kabarebe said in the statement.

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,” Kabarebe told the retirees.

Karake who spoke on behalf of the retiring officers thanked the RDF leadership, Rwandan President and RDF Commander-in-Chief 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 honor to be part of a force that the Chairman of the High Command, and we have had the honor 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 in their respective units, according to the statement.

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