[Francophones] Je fais suivre cet article tel qu"il est publié par le quotidien New Times de Kigali.

Bishop Venuste Mutiganda audivia2002 at yahoo.fr
Lun 30 Nov 13:38:52 GMT 2009

Monday, 30th November 2009

    Rwanda, France restore relations 

    L-R : President Paul Kagame; President Nicolas Sarkozy	
    • Presidents Kagame, Sarkozy speak on phone KIGALI -
Rwanda and France have agreed to restore diplomatic relations three
years after the two countries severed ties after an incident triggered
by controversial indictments issued by a French Judge.  Both
Governments issued out communiqués yesterday announcing decisions to
bury the hatchet and restore ties.  Earlier, President Kagame received
a message from his French President Nicolas Sarkozy, delivered by
Sarkozy’s Chief of Staff, Claude Guéant. The President also had
a telephone conversation with President Sarkozy in which both leaders
discussed the process of normalizing relations between the two
nations.   Minister of Information, Louise Mushikiwabo told
reporters that the decision to restore ties has been a result of “a
long process that started when President Sarkozy came to power – and
not something that just came out of the blue.” The sour
relations between the two countries date far back to the time when the
Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) took power in Kigali ousting an
extremist regime propped up by Paris’ previous government. Relations
hit lowest moments when French judge Jean Louis Bruguiere issued out
indictments against senior Rwanda government officials, allegedly for
downing a jet that carried former President Juvenal Habyarimana. “This
is the culmination of extensive consultations between Rwanda and France
at many levels. Today, Presidents Kagame and Sarkozy spoke on the phone
and agreed to immediately start the process of normalization of
relations between Rwanda and France, including the re-opening of
diplomatic ties,” Foreign Affairs minister Rosemary Museminari said. A
communiqué issued by government said that since cutting ties with
France in November 2006, Presidents Kagame and Sarkozy have met twice,
first during the EU/Africa Summit in Lisbon in December 2007 and during
the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2008.  French
Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has previously travelled to Kigali
twice, and Rwandan and French officials have held several discussions
in an effort to find common ground, according to the statement.  Earlier
yesterday, Sarkozy’s chief of staff told reporters in Kigali, that
since the election of President Sarkozy, his government has made
efforts to turn the page and normalize relations with Rwanda.  He pointed out that the moment had come to work together with Rwanda on issues of common interest. At
the press briefing, both Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Information
reiterated that the move to reinstate relations is consistent with
Rwanda’s policy of maintaining good relations and cooperation with all
bilateral and multilateral partners. The statement underlined
that France is committed to supporting peace initiatives in the Great
Lakes region and in addition pledged to “contribute actively in
reinforcing actions of the international community against people
responsible for the Genocide in Rwanda and armed groups who are
destabilizing eastern DRC.”  The development comes after two
senior investigative judges, Michele Ganascia and Fabienne Puos from
the Paris Court of Higher Instance recently visited the country to
investigate cases of Genocide fugitives residing on French soil. France
is home to many suspected genocide perpetrators, some already indicted
by both the Rwandan government and the ICTR, especially the likes of
Agathe Kanziga Habyarimana, wife of former president Juvenal
Habyarimana and a key member of “Akazu.” Officials did not mention when embassies of the two countries would be re-opened in their respective capitals.  Ends

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