KIGALI - The conditional release granted to Rose Kabuye by a French court last week does not add anything to the on-going efforts to resume relations between Rwanda and France because she was released on merit. This was revealed yesterday by the country’s Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister, Rosemary Museminali.
The Minister was reacting to some people’s interpretations that last week’s release of Kabuye was a sign that France was attempting to fix its diplomatic strains with Rwanda. She explained that people should distinguish between Kabuye’s ‘innocence’ and the Franco-Rwanda talks on relations.
“We think there is need to separate the two. Rose Kabuye was released because they [French justice] found no reason for keeping her in custody when trying her,” she said.
Appearing on Radio France International (RFI) and the French television network TV5 over the week-end, the French Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bernard Kouchner, said that he wishes his country to resume diplomatic relations with Rwanda, calling it a country in renaissance.
“It is necessary to resume normal relations with this Rwanda that is being born again,” he said. He also welcomed the fact that Rose Kabuye is currently on bail following her first appearance in a French court last week.
“Ms Kabuye has been courageous enough to face everyone and she is now enjoying freedom in our home. I hope, having had access to her dossier, she will be able to end the misunderstandings with the help of her lawyers. I definitely wish it to happen,” he said.
The French top diplomat also refuted allegations that the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda was sparked by the crash of a plane in which former President Habyarimana was killed.
“I can tell you that it was prepared…that it was pre-determined, and I don’t know whether it is the plane that triggered it, but it would have been triggered in any case,” he explained.
There are currently talks between Kigali and Paris to restore relations. Museminali yesterday said that French and Rwandan teams that were set up to deal with the issue have already started their work.
Rwanda cut diplomatic relations with France in 2006 following judge Jean-Louis Bruguière’s arrest warrants against nine top Rwandan officials.
The warrants have been widely condemned with analysts calling them fraudulent and politically motivated.