Rwanda’s Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Amandin Rugira yesterday left for Kinshasa to officially take up his new ambassadorial duties as the two nations embark on a new chapter of diplomatic relations, 10 years after they were severed.
Rugira was the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign affairs,His Congolese opposite number, Norbert Nkulu Kilombo Mitumba, is also expected to take up his office ‘soon.’
“As for the DRC envoy, I cannot tell you when, but our Ambassador left for Kinshasa Friday morning. The DRC envoy will also be arriving very soon.” confirmed Foreign affairs Minister Rosemary Museminali.
Museminali said that the Rwandan Embassy in Kinshasa has been open for the last few months; save for the Ambassador who has been around as logistical issues were sorted out, but there has been an official in the embassy.
His departure to the DRC capital marks yet another milestone as the two countries embark normalising relations which were highlighted by a historic meeting between Presidents Paul Kagame and Joseph Kabila of DRC.
Diplomatic relations between Rwanda and DRC have improved since last year, and the two countries have engaged in different activities aimed at reviving the relations.
Among these was a joint military operation in January against insurgents of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) who are hiding inside the DRC.
The operation code-named Umoja Wetu (Our unity) saw thousands of FDLR rebels and their dependants surrender and repatriate to Rwanda, but recent reports indicate that they have since started regrouping.
The Economic Community of the Great Lakes (CEPGL) which brings together Rwanda, DRC and Burundi, was also resurrected.
Both neighbours have also agreed to jointly exploit the abundant methane gas deposits in Lake Kivu and convert it into energy.