French President pledges to advance Rwanda-France cooperation

The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, has promised to invigorate development cooperation between Rwanda and his country through bringing all genocide fugitives to justice, jointly tackling Covid-19 pandemic and reestablishment of a Francophone cultural centre in Kigali.  

Macron made the observations on July 4, in his message to his Rwandan counterpart President Paul Kagame on the occasion of the 26th celebration of Liberation Day.

 

“On the occasion of the National Day of the Republic of Rwanda, I am happy to extend to you and to the people of Rwanda my warmest congratulations and best wishes,” Macron said.

 

Rwanda accuses France of supporting the regime that orchestrated the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi which claimed lives of more than a million innocent lives, according to estimates from the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG). 

 

This situation has soured relations between the two nations, especially given that there are some genocide fugitives still roaming freely in France.

Over the past two years, Macron said, political dialogue between the two countries has strengthened considerably, something he welcomed.

He indicated that he attached particular importance to the continuation and deepening of this dialogue.

“The new dynamism that we have instilled in it is in the process of finding concrete translations, in the image of the revival of our development cooperation or even works to enable the next opening of a Francophone cultural centre in Kigali,” he said.

At the same time, he said, “rest assured that we are continuing our efforts to ensure that all suspected Rwandan genocidaires are prosecuted,

“Following the decision to strengthen the means of the French justice dealing with the procedures relating to the genocide against the Tutsi [in 1994], the arrest, last May, of Félicien Kabuga dedicated a new stage in this fight which we carry out at your sides against impunity.”

Macron said that he hoped that the move has brought comfort to the victims and survivors of the genocide against the Tutsi, as well as to their descendants.

Supporting efforts to deal with Covid-19 impact

Meanwhile, Macron said that the celebration of Rwanda’s Liberation Day took place this year in a particular context of the global health crisis – the Covid-19 pandemic, which has put international solidarity to test, at a time when it was more than ever necessary.

“I would like to assure you of France's support during this difficult period, both bilaterally and multilaterally, to back the Rwandan national response strategy for responding to the pandemic,” he said.

entirenganya@newtimesrwanda.com

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