Marcel Gatsinzi

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General Marcel Gatsinzi About this sound pronunciation [needs IPA] is a Rwandan soldier and politician, who was Minister of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs. Gatsinzi also served as Rwanda's Minister of Defence from 2002 to 2010.[1]

An ethnic Hutu[2] from Butare, Gatsinzi is a former member of the Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR), which was the national army prior to the takeover of Rwanda by the RPF during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. At the time of the disbanding of FAR his rank was Colonel.

During the genocide, from April 6 to April 17, 1994 he served as Chief of Staff of FAR.[3] Afterwards he was assigned to negotiate with the RPF and "other duties that did not involve direct command of troops".[4]

Gatsinzi was appointed Minister of Defence on 15 November 2002, succeeding Brig.-Gen. Emmanuel Habyarimana.

General Gatsinzi was born on January 9, 1948 in Kigali. He started his formal education at Collège Saint-André in Nyamirambo, Kigali, where he graduated with a diploma in 1968. His military career began at the Kigali Military Academy in the same year, and he was commissioned as a second lieutenant on 31 March 1970.

He pursued his military career courses in Belgium at Heverlee (Louvain) in the School of Logistics in 1971 and in Brussels at the Royal High Institute of Defence from 1974 to 1976.

Beside the military assignments in the Rwandese Army, Gatsinzi (while Colonel) served in the OAU Neutral Military Observer Group set by the Organization of African Unity. That OAU NMOG was meant to monitor the cease fire during the period of the negotiations between the Gorverment and the Rwandese Patriotic Front during the Liberation War in 1990-1993. He also participated in the negotiations process.

Gatsinzi has held various political and military appointments with the following as his main career highlights:

  • Deputy Chief of Staff of Rwanda Patriotic Army from 1995-1997
  • Chief of Staff of the National Gendarmerie from 1997-2000
  • Secretary General of the National Security Service from 2000 to 2002
  • Minister of Defence on 15 November 2002
  • Re-appointed Minister of Defence on 19 October 2003 till 10 April 2010
  • Minister of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs from 2010 to 2013

Gatsinzi holds a series of honorific military medal awards.

Preceded by
Emmanuel Habyarimana
Minister of Defence (Rwanda)
November 15, 2002 – April 10, 2010
Succeeded by
James Kabarebe


  1. ^ Ministry of Defence (MOD), Republic of Rwanda. "The Minister". Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  2. ^ The Limits of Humanitarian Intervention: Genocide in Rwanda. Brookings Institution Press. 
  3. ^ "Profile of Gatsinzi". Contemporary Africa Database. Archived from the original on 2006-02-21. 
  4. ^ Des Forges, Alison (March 1999). Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda – Butare: "This Is an Extermination". New York: Human Rights Watch. Note 72. ISBN 1-56432-171-1.