Kagame drops intelligence chief Karake in ongoing shuffle

Wednesday March 23 2016

Rwandan Lieutenant General Karenzi Karake. FILE PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA

President Paul Kagame on Tuesday dropped the long-serving director of the National Intelligence and Security Services, Lt Gen Emmanuel Karenzi Karake.

Lt Karake, 55, will now serve as Kagame’s advisor on defence and his replacement is former army spokesperson Brig-General Joseph Nzabamwita, 50.

The removal of Lt Karake comes during an ongoing shuffle which has seen a couple of officials being dropped or replaced, such as the minister of Family Promotion Oda Gasinizingwa, who was last week replaced with Dr Diane Gashumba.

Lt Karake had served in that capacity since July 2011, after replacing the longest serving spy chief, Dr Emmanuel Ndahiro.

He made international headlines in June last year when he was arrested in London on a Spanish arrest warrant for alleged war crimes including ordering of massacres while he was head of Rwanda’s military intelligence between 1994 and 1997.

He was accused of ordering the killing of three Spanish health workers in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.


He was released days later on a conditional bail with a surety of £1 million.

READ: No truce yet: Kigali wants UK to explain Karake’s arrest

The indictment, which called for the arrest of 40 Rwandan officials, was however dropped later after Spain's Supreme Court dismissed it for lack of evidence.

Lt Karake’s replacement - Brig-Gen Nzabamwita - previously served in different capacities as army spokesperson and commanding officer of the 105 battalion in the western province.

He also previously served as the deputy director of NISS and as Rwanda’s Defence and Military attaché in Washington D.C.