UN Secretary-General to visit Rwanda

The United Nation Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is expected to visit Rwanda later this month and hold talks with President Paul Kagame together with other high ranking government officials.
UN  Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon receives Rwanda’s  Joseph Mutaboba who he appointed as  UN Special Envoy to Guinea-Bissau. (UN Photo Eskinder Debebe).
UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon receives Rwanda’s Joseph Mutaboba who he appointed as UN Special Envoy to Guinea-Bissau. (UN Photo Eskinder Debebe).

The United Nation Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is expected to visit Rwanda later this month and hold talks with President Paul Kagame together with other high ranking government officials. According to a statement from Ban spokesperson’s office, he is expected to start his visit to Africa early next week.

The statement reads in part that the UN Chief “will make his first official visits to South Africa and Tanzania as well as stops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Egypt.”

He is scheduled to leave New York early next week, but the date for each stop in the itinerary was not made public, except for his attendance at the Sharm-el-Sheikh conference in Egypt that is slated for March 2.

The conference is organised to support the Palestinian people and the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip co-chaired by Egypt and Norway. Efforts to confirm Ban’s visit to Rwanda were futile as the Minister of Foreign Affairs could not be reached on phone.

However, different news reports indicate that before coming to Rwanda, Ban will visit the Tanzanian-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) before heading to the DRC where he will meet with President Joseph Kabila.

The ICTR, which closes its doors by the end of next year, is sponsored by the United Nations and it was established to try masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

According to Ban’s spokesperson, he will travel to the South and North Kivu provinces, in eastern DRC, where he will meet with members of the UN Peacekeeping Mission (MONUC) and with local authorities before flying to Rwanda.

Ban’s visit to Rwanda will be the second. He last visited the country in January last year. He recently appointed a Rwandan, Ambassador Joseph Mutaboba, as his envy to Guinea-Bissau.

Prior to his appointment, Mutaboba was Presiden Kagame’s Special envoy to the Great Lakes region and played a key part in the accords recently signed between the DRC and Rwanda that has seen both countries work together to neutralise FDLR rebels in eastern DRC.

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