Sezibera: Travel advisories on Rwanda ill-informed

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Richard Sezibera addresses the news conference at his office in Kimihurura yesterday. Craish Bahizi.

The government has assured Rwandans, other residents and visitors that the country is safe for travel, tourism and business, dispelling any fears that may stem from travel advisories that were issued by some countries, noting that Rwanda is safe.

The assurance was delivered by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Richard Sezibera, yesterday, as he met foreign diplomats accredited to Rwanda to update them on the current state of security.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Sezibera, who is also the Government spokesperson, said that some of the advisories were ill-informed or influenced by armed groups’ claims while others were as a result of sensational reports by regional media outlets.

He said that despite slight revision in risk levels, tourists and travellers continue to visit Rwanda because they are aware it is safe and secure.

He added that Rwanda is “as safe if not safer than most of the western countries”.

In his meeting with the envoys, Sezibera called for increased cooperation in arresting, trying or extraditing elements trying to destabilise Rwanda from countries where they have sought asylum.

Some individuals who have repeatedly attempted to destabilise Rwanda are based abroad where they sought asylum.

They include Paul Rusesabagina, who is based in Belgium; Faustin Ntilikina, who is in exile in France, Kayumba Nyamwasa, based in South Africa, and David Himbara, in Canada, among others.

Sezibera disclosed that Rwanda is keen on working with the host countries to have the fugitives apprehended.

His appeal comes in the wake of the arrest Callixte Nsabimana.

Nsabimana, alias Sankara, was wanted over several offences committed on the Rwandan territory, including formation of an irregular armed group, complicity in committing terrorist acts, conspiracy and incitement to commit terrorist acts, taking persons hostage, murder, and looting.

Sezibera said that Nsabimana, who has severally claimed responsibility for attacks which claimed lives of Rwandans, is the first of many who will be tried.

Two top commanders of FDLR terror group — the spokesperson Ignace Nkaka, alias La Forge Fils Bazeye, and Jean-Pierre Nsekanabo, the head of the intelligence of the outfit – were arrested last year by Congolese authorities and are being tried in Rwanda.

Sezibera said that following interactions with the envoys, through their Dean of Ambassadors, they had expressed their cooperation towards facilitating the apprehension of members of terror groups operating from their respective nations.