President Paul Kagame hosted former French President Nicolas Sarkozy at Urugwiro Village in Kigali.

In the discussion on Monday, Sarkozy told Kagame that he was happy to step again in Rwanda after a long time. The presidency is yet to announce the purpose of the visit.

The discussion also featured Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Community Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo.

Sarkozy ruled France from May 16, 2007 to May 15, 2012. He is credited by Rwanda for doing the best during his tenure to revive the two countries relations which strained after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in which France allegedly supported the perpetrators.

Sarkozy also visited Rwanda in 2010 and admitted that his country did not do enough to prevent or stop the genocide but did not apologise for France’s alleged role.

Rwanda expelled French ambassador Dominique Decherf in 2006 after that the French judge Jean Louis Bruguière had issued arrest warrants against Rwanda’s top leaders over the shooting of a plane in which died former President Juvénal Habyarimana in 1994.

After succeeding Jacques Chirac in the French presidency, Sarkozy restored the relations in November 2009 and new ambassador Laurent Contini was sent to Kigali a few days later. Contini was recalled by France in 2011 and Rwanda rejected his replacement Hélène Le Gal and France later sent Michel Flesch who was admitted in Kigali.

Flesch was recalled in 2015 and Rwanda has not approved his successor since then.

Visiting Rwanda in 2010, Sarkozy told media that France regretted its “errors” which contributed to the genocide but stopped short of apologising for role.

“What happened here is a defeat for humanity. What happened here compels the international community including France to reflect on the errors that stopped us from preventing and halting this abominable crime,” he said.

Shortly after Sarkozy visit, President Kagame also visited France to attend the conference of Heads of State of countries that use French language.

Kagame told media at the occasion that Rwanda wanted partners, not those who wanted to give Rwanda directions.

The Express News


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