Kabarebe tables military downsizing, demob bill

Parliament yesterday kicked off its 2015 ordinary business, with the Minister for defence, James Kabarebe, tabling before the Chamber of Deputies a new draft law on downsizing, discharge, demobilisation and dismissal in Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF).
RDF soldiers mount a parade at Kigali International Airport on October 28, 2013. (Timothy Kisambira)
RDF soldiers mount a parade at Kigali International Airport on October 28, 2013. (Timothy Kisambira)

Parliament yesterday kicked off its 2015 ordinary business, with the Minister for defence, James Kabarebe, tabling before the Chamber of Deputies a new draft law on downsizing, discharge, demobilisation and dismissal in Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF).

According to Kabarebe, the new legislation seeks to implement Article 175 of the Constitution which stipulates that, the Government of Rwanda can downsize the RDF when deemed necessary.

The government can also discharge, demobilise or dismiss members of the RDF.

“The law will determine procedures for such actions,” Kabarebe told lawmakers.

He noted that the Bill will complement the legal framework governing Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission (RDRC).

Kabarebe was responding to concerns raised by MPs Julienne Uwacu, Desire Nyandwi and Ignatienne Nyirarukundo, who wanted to know whether there will not be conflict of interest between the two laws.

MP Nyirarukundo had earlier suggested that the law governing Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission (RDRC) be scrapped and replaced with the one that looks at downsizing, discharge, demobilisation and dismissal of military officers.

However, Kabarebe said the two laws are interdependent and complement each other in terms of implementation and purpose.

“There will be no contradictions between the two laws once enacted. Demobilisation involves dismissal or discharge from the military which also calls for the reintegration of officers back to civilian life while the new law will determine procedures of military discharge,” Kabarebe explained.

The Bill was later adopted by 73 legislators of the 80 before it was sent to the commission for further scrutiny.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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