Congo, Darfur to feature in UN Ban Ki-Moon’s visit

Regional security and issues to do with the ongoing International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), are likely to top the agenda of the  United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon’s visit to Rwanda.
L-R: Rosemary Museminali,  Ban Ki-Moon.
L-R: Rosemary Museminali, Ban Ki-Moon.

Regional security and issues to do with the ongoing International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), are likely to top the agenda of the  United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon’s visit to Rwanda.

Ban who is expected in the country later this week is expected to hold high level talks with President Paul Kagame, together with other top government officials.

According to Foreign Affairs Minister, Rosemary Museminali, Rwanda’s contribution towards promoting security in the Great-lakes and Darfur regions together with other justice related issues, are likely to feature prominently in talks to be held between Rwandan officials and Ban Ki-Moon. The trip is part of Ban’s visit to Africa that started early this week.

The UN sponsors the Tanzania based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) which is tasked with trying cases involving masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. 
“What I think he will focus on most is security in the region and what our army has achieved in the recent joint military operations,” said Museminali in a telephone interview yesterday.

Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) launched a joint military operation last month to hunt down elements of the rebel Forces for Democratic Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

The FDLR is mainly made up of remnants of ex-combatants and interahamwe militia who participated in the 1994 genocide against Tutsis.

The rebels who have roamed Congolese jungles for the last 15 years are reported to be at the centre of causing insecurity in the eastern region of the DRC.

Museminali said that among other important issues that the Secretary General is likely to talk about in Rwanda include the country’s contribution of troops for peace-keeping in the troubled Darfur region of Sudan as well as the UN’s activities in Rwanda.

Rwanda remains one of the largest contributors of troops to the UN and African Union hybrid mission in Darfur. Troops from the Rwanda Defence Forces have deployed in the troubled region since 2004.

She added that the UN has many activities in the country that are coordinated under its One-UN programme as she speculated on possible topics for discussions.

Rwanda is one of the seven countries in the world where the One UN Programme is being piloted.

“In general, the UN has many activities in Rwanda… all of those areas are interesting for Rwanda,” Museminali observed.

According to the minister, another issue that ought to be discussed concerns the extradition of genocide suspects to Rwanda where some countries have consistently rejected Rwanda’s request to bring them over amid doubts of them having a ‘fair trial’ in the country’s national courts.

Before coming to Rwanda, Ban is expected to first visit the Tanzanian-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

He is also expected to hold talks with DRC’s President, Joseph Kabila before proceeding to the eastern part of the country where he is to meet members of the UN Peacekeeping Mission (MONUC) and local authorities in the area.

The Secretary General’s last visit to Rwanda was early last year when he especially commended the country for its development achievements and its contribution to peace and security in the region.

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