New envoys pledge stronger relations with Rwanda


TOP: (L-R) Amb. Elman Abdullayev of Azerbaijan, Amb. Benoit Ryelandt, of Belgium. Amb. Elizabeth Taylor, of Colombia and Amb. Nuncio Apostolic Mgr Andrzej Jozwowicz, of Holy See. MIDDLE: (L-R) Amb. Antonio Luis Pubillones Izaguirre, of Cuba, Amb. Benson Keith Chali, of Zambia and Amb. Yevhenii Tsymbaliuk, of Ukraine. BOTTOM: (L-R) Amb. Joachim Anvire Djabia, of Ivory Coast, Amb. Raza Bashir Tarar, of Pakistan, Amb. Oliver Wonekha, of Uganda, and Amb. Adamu Onoze Shuaibu, of Nigeria

President Paul Kagame, yesterday, received letters of credence from 11 new Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Rwanda.

They include envoys from Ivory Coast, Pakistan, Cuba, Colombia, Zambia, Holy See, Belgium, Uganda and Nigeria.

They also include envoys of Ukraine and Azerbaijan, which are posting envoys to Rwanda for the first time.

Nuncio Apostolic Mgr Andrzej Jozwowicz, from the Holy See, noted that he comes to consolidate the “New Chapter” of bilateral relations that has been opened between Rwanda and the Catholic Church following a tainted past especially due to the Church’s role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Last March, Pope Francis hosted Paul Kagame at the Vatican in a meeting where the former asked forgiveness for the role of the Catholic Church during the Genocide. Kagame later described the meeting as marking a “new chapter” in relations between Rwanda and Vatican.

“I agree to this opening of the new chapter with full collaboration of the Government of Rwanda. I will support, with all my capacity, the local church for this collaboration, especially for reconciliation, and we will do everything to help in spiritual and material development of the country,” Jozwowicz said. 

Amb. Anvire Djabia Joachim, of Ivory Coast, commended the role of national carrier RwandAir in connecting Rwanda and his country and noted that he will work hard to strengthen trade and people-to-people relations between the two African countries.

Benson Keith Chali, the Zambian high commissioner to Rwanda, said he discussed with President Kagame the possibility of launching a common tourism package between Zambia and Rwanda since RwandAir flies to Lusaka three times a week.

“Zambia has got the Victoria Falls and you (Rwanda) have got one of the best airlines in Africa that flies into Lusaka…We would like to share tourists for the development of our two countries,” Chali said.

He said the big community of Rwandans in Zambia has brought the two countries to become even closer hence a need to work for common interests in trade and other areas. 

Yveshenni Tysmbaluik, who becomes the first Ambassador of Ukraine to be accredited to Rwanda, pledged to promote closer Rwanda—Ukraine ties.

While Ambassador Elizabeth Taylor of Colombia looks forward to pushing for South-South relations with Rwanda, Ambassador Antonio Luis Pubillones of Cuba counts on Rwanda’s support in voting on his country’s favour in the lifting of US economic sanctions that were imposed about 50 years ago, come November 1.