Rwanda, Germany officials to meet at AU Summit

- Restoring diplomatic relations, presence of FDLR leadership in Germany on the agenda Representatives of Rwanda and Germany are due to meet in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, to discuss the two countries’ diplomatic relations, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Rosemary Museminali, disclosed yesterday.
Foreign Affairs Minister Rosemary Museminali.
Foreign Affairs Minister Rosemary Museminali.

- Restoring diplomatic relations, presence of FDLR leadership in Germany on the agenda

Representatives of Rwanda and Germany are due to meet in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, to discuss the two countries’ diplomatic relations, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Rosemary Museminali, disclosed yesterday.

“If they happen to be held, the talks will focus on how to implement the renewal of relations between the two countries,” Museminali said in a telephone interview with The New Times from the Ethiopian capital.

Relations between the two countries went sour towards the end of last year subsequent to the arrest of the Director of State Protocol Rose Kabuye who was arrested in Germany over indictments issued by a French magistrate. 

She added: “We agreed to meet…we are to meet with Germany’s Deputy Foreign Minister and we will discuss the relations between our two countries and see how to find a way forward on the mutual communiqué we signed,” she said, explaining that she was waiting for her counterpart to arrive in Addis-Ababa.

A statement released by Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs ministry this month announced that the two countries would reappoint envoys to their respective capitals in the near future.

The declaration also said that misunderstandings between the two would be leveled out.

“Germany and Rwanda share a long history of friendly relations. In the mutual interest of both countries and their peoples, they want to look forward and have agreed to work together to iron out matters disagreed upon,” it partly read.

Museminali is in Ethiopia to attend an African Union (AU) summit.

“He is going to come and we will talk,” she said as she awaited her counterpart.

Subsequent to Kabuye’s controversial arrest, Rwanda expelled the German Ambassador to Rwanda, Christian Clages, and recalled Rwanda’s envoy from Bonn.

The government was protesting that Kabuye’s arrest was not only illegal on the basis that the indictments were issued without prior thorough investigation, but also the fact that she was covered by diplomatic immunity at the time of her arrest.

FDLR remains one of the stains

One other thing likely to be discussed between the two countries will include the continued presence in Germany of the leaders of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a group that is largely composed of remnants of former genocide masterminds and ex-soldiers of the former regime who want to come back to Rwanda and carry on with the genocide.

“Yes, definitely we will talk about that too,” Museminali had told The New Times last week in an interview as she referred to the FDLR issue in Rwanda-Germany efforts to resume relations.

She said that the rebels’ issue was also being examined in the general framework of the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU).

The government is especially concerned that the FDLR leader, Ignace Murwanashyaka, continues to move freely in and out of Germany despite a United Nations Security Council resolution 1804 that imposed travel and financial sanctions against FDLR leaders.

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