Turning a new page? French President Macron begins visit to Rwanda

Leave a comment / By: manifel / 27 May, 2021 09:23:25AM
Turning a new page? French President Macron begins visit to Rwanda

French President Emmanuel Macron will arrive in Rwanda on Thursday, May 27 on a one-day state visit.

Macron will go to the Kigali Genocide Memorial to pay tribute to the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, after which he is expected to deliver a speech at around 11a.m.

Macron is also expected to visit the Rwandan Presidency for a state banquet with President Paul Kagame.

They will afterwards hold a joint press conference, during which they will talk about the prospects for the bilateral ties of both countries. 

At the end of the day, Macron will inaugurate the French Cultural Centre, in the presence of Louise Mushikiwabo, the Secretary-General of the International Organisation of the Francophonie.

During the same visit, it is thought that the French President will appoint a future French ambassador to Rwanda.

France has not had an accredited ambassador in Kigali since 2015.

Macron’s visit comes during a time when the relations between Rwanda and France are making good progress.

Earlier this year, the European country admitted to bearing huge responsibility in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The Duclert report which was commissioned by President Macron in 2019 and released in March this year concluded that France bears heavy and overwhelming responsibilities over the 1994 Genocide but made no mention of any evidence of French complicity.

In April, another report - commissioned by the government of Rwanda and compiled by a team of legal experts led by American jurist Robert F Muse showed that the French government was neither blind nor unconscious about the Genocide, and provided unwavering support to the Genocidal government that was ruling Rwanda then.

Pictures of victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. President Macron will also visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial. 

This month, Kagame made a visit to France, where among other things he met members of the Duclert Commission together with retired French military officers who served in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994.

During a televised interview he made while in the European country, he said that Rwanda and France are on the path to restore friendly ties with a series of events taking place in that direction.

The visit of President Macron can be looked at as a strong statement to cement the steps made in the normalisation of relations between France and Rwanda.

The last French President to visit Rwanda was Nicolas Sarkozy who was the country in 2010 for a one-day working visit.

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