Rwanda merits membership -C’wealth Secretary General

KIGALI - Rwanda’s achievements merit the country to join the Commonwealth and indications of possible entry into the grouping at this year’s Trinidad and Tobago summit are positive, Secretary General of the organisation said yesterday. In an interview with the BBC, Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, said that Rwanda had implemented a number of positive reforms and was favoured by its location to join the elite group nations. 

KIGALI - Rwanda’s achievements merit the country to join the Commonwealth and indications of possible entry into the grouping at this year’s Trinidad and Tobago summit are positive, Secretary General of the organisation said yesterday.

In an interview with the BBC, Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, said that Rwanda had implemented a number of positive reforms and was favoured by its location to join the elite group nations.

“I think Rwanda is very meritorious in the sense that if you look at the location of the country, in the East African Community, they are very closely integrated with Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.”

“Since there three other countries that have been traditionally members of the group, it is a very logical argument,” Sharma told the BBC.

Sharma submitted an assessment report to the Heads of State summit which will be based on to determine Rwanda’s membership by the end of today.

However he insisted that as a Secretary General, his job is to do the work required of him, which is to submit the report to the Heads of State after the assessment.

“The decision is with the leaders... we have given the facts of the case and as far as I can read the facts, I think they are reasonably positive,” he said.

Sharma hinted on some achievements that Rwanda had attained that included having a legislative arm where women are the majority and implementing a reconciliation and healing process that had produced results.

“Our own assessment is that the political will as far as Rwanda is concerned is considerable.”

The Secretary General also watered down allegations contained in a report by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative that said Rwanda did not meet the pre-conditions for entry into the grouping.

He said that his own assessment team had been on the ground and found that a genuine political will exists to address any outstanding issues.  

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