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Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire to strengthen ties

  • By Edmund Kagire
  • November 11, 2011
President Paul Kagame and the Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire, Guillaume Soro (left), at Urugwiro Village, yesterday, shortly before the latter headed back home. The New Times / Urugwiro Village.

Rwanda and Côte d’Ivoire have agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation, as the latter seeks to draw lessons that could help it in its reconstruction process.

Speaking to the media shortly before departure at Kigali International Airport, Ivorian Prime Minister, Guillaume Soro, who was in Rwanda to attend a United Nations Post-Conflict Peace Building Conference, said that Rwanda had so much to share with his country.

Soro, who also doubles as the Minister of Defence, spent another working day after the two-day meeting, during which he paid a courtesy call on President Paul Kagame at Village Urugwiro.

The two leaders discussed possibilities of fostering relations between the two states.

Earlier in the day, Soro also held talks with Defence Minister, Gen. James Kabarebe, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo. He also visited Mutobo Demobilisation and Reintegration camp in the Northern Province.

“From the tragedy that happened here, I was able to know how the country and its people managed to rebuild themselves,” Soro said.

“Today I met my colleague, the Minister of Defence, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and we shared experiences between our countries. We know our countries have undergone similar circumstances, though we cannot compare the 3,000 people who died in Côte d’Ivoire to the one million that died in Rwanda – the trauma is incomparable.”

He, however, said that having undergone the worst tragedies ever, Rwanda is in a better position to offer Côte d’Ivoire lessons on reconstruction, re-building institutions and building a strong military.

“We have agreed to fast-track our bilateral cooperation and our ministers of foreign affairs, and defence will meet as soon as possible to work out the details of our relationship,” Soro said.

Mushikiwabo said: “We have had very good cordial relations with Côte d’Ivoire but the discussion that took place was about scaling up that relationship.”


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