Rwanda committed to normalising ties with South Africa – Foreign ministry

Foreign Affairs minister Dr Richard Sezibera speaks to the media last month File.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday announced that Rwanda is committed to fully re-establishing normal ties with South Africa.

The announcement followed recent media reports that the normalisation of ties between both countries had hit a deadlock.

In March 2018, during an extraordinary summit of the African Union in Kigali, President Paul Kagame and his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa committed to the normalisation of relations between the two countries.

According to a statement released Wednesday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there are attempts to derail the course of restoring bilateral ties, including unfounded allegations made against Rwanda in public statements and the media, based on rumours and distortions propagated by Rwandan detractors based in Canada and South Africa.

The allegations are mainly published in media platforms associated with Rwandan detractors, government says.

“Bilateral relations between states cannot be contingent to suggested negotiations with subversive and criminal movements led by individuals who have either been convicted of, or are wanted for, criminal activities,” reads part of the statement.

“The Rwandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has communicated, through diplomatic channels, serious concerns about consistent attempts to delay or derail the course of normalisation.

It is a cause for concern that the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation chooses to believe these groups over the assurances provided by the Government of Rwanda,” the statement adds.

Rwanda also objected to the repeated summons of the Rwandan High Commissioner in South Africa, Vincent Karega.

The statement noted: “Rwanda, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, reiterates its willingness to continue working with the Government of South Africa on the rapid normalisation of relations through normal diplomatic channels, as agreed by the Heads of State of our respective countries.”