Rwanda Reserve Force
The Reserve Force is composed of Rwandan nationals who voluntarily.join this service. It is comprised of an Infantry Reserve, and a Specialist Reserve. The Infantry Reserve Force is organized into five (5) Regional Reserve Forces, corresponding to the four (4) Provinces and the City of Kigali. The specialist reserve is comprised of military and civilian specialists in fields like weapon systems, law, medicine, information technology, mechanics, driving and aviation.
The Reserve Force Chief of Staff and his/her deputy are selected from General officers of the Rwanda Defence Forces active services. Commanders of the Infantry Reserve are Senior Officers selected from the active or non active services of the Rwanda Defence Forces. Specialist Reserve are commanded by a Senior Officer selected from active or non active services of the Rwanda Defence Forces, directly answerable to the Reserve Force Chief of Staff.
Reservists are drawn from former members of the active force who fulfill the following conditions:
- to be physically fit;
- to be under retirement age;
- to have no criminal record;
- To have moral integrity and good conduct.
Reservists are also drawn from civilian population meeting the following conditions:
- to join voluntarly;
- to be physically fit;
- to have not been convicted to at least six (6) months;
- to have moral integrity and good conduct;
- to have special skills.
During wartime, national disaster, for training purposes or whenever else necessary, reservists may be called up to join active units of the Rwanda Defence Forces or to perform any other mission as may be directed by competent authority. Mobilisation of reservists shall be either total or partial. During mobilisation time, reservists shall be governed by the Rwanda Defence Forces Special Statutes. Total or partial mobilisation and the duration thereof shall be decided by the Commander in Chief of Rwanda Defence Forces.
Reservists are allowed, in their daily life, to perform any civilian activity of their choice, in accordance with the law without any restriction whatsoever.
Reservists are prohibited from the following:
- to collaborate with external military organizations or security services from foreign countries in a way that can jeopardize national security;
- to leave the country without informing relevant authorities;
- to breach confidential information acquired during his/her military services;
- to participate in strike movements or taking part in actions intended to provoke a strike.
Reservists undergo courses and military trainings as it shall be determined by relevant authority. The Reserve Force established a Reserve Officer Training Department and provided scholarships for students to undergo specialized training in academic institutions. Members of Reserve Officer Training Department undergo military training or activity during the period of academic studies.
Reservists are not paid any salary by the Government, except during mobilisation period. During the mobilisation period, reservists are paid a salary and other allowances corresponding to their respective ranks in reference to their contracts. Reservists are entitled to special moratoriums on job security during extended mobilization.
The Rwanda Defence Forces has the responsibility of putting in place, organizing and supporting initiatives intended to improve the general welfare of Reservists. The Reserve Force shall provide reserve units and individuals to stand ready to support and augment the Rwanda Defences Force active services when called upon under partial or total mobilisation.
In case of mobilisation for military service, the concerned Reservist shall immediately join the assigned service. His/her employer shall release him/her and make sure his/her professional rights are safeguarded during the period of mobilisation.
As early as the 1960s the National Guard [the fore-runner of the army], had a standby reserve mobilization program that may be implemented by Presidential decree. Structured on a prefectural basis, the program is applicable to each prefecture. A partial mobilization of the Butare and Gikongoro prefectural reserves was ordered by President Kayibanda on November 22, 1966, but the force was deactivated in February 1967.
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