The French government on Wednesday nominated its Ambassador to Rwanda after the recent restoration of diplomatic ties between the two countries. However the envoy’s name has been kept a secret until approved by Kigali.
France and Rwanda agreed to restore diplomatic relations after a three-year break last week.
Relations between France and Rwanda, soured because of the 2006 indictments issued by French judge Jean Louis Bruguiere against senior Rwandan government officials.
The ties also suffered because of the role played by France in the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi that claimed over one million lives.
Former Minister of Information, now Foreign Affairs Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, told reporters that the decision to restore ties was a result of “a long process that started when President Sarkozy came to power and was not something that just came out of the blue.”
It was then revealed that since 2006, Kagame and Sarkozy have met twice, first during the EU/Africa Summit in Lisbon in December 2007 and during the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2008.
The last French Ambassador to Rwanda was Dominique Decherf.
Sour relations between the two countries date far back to the time when the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) took power in Kigali ousting an extremist regime supported by a former Paris government.
France is also home to many suspected perpetrators of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, and the Collectif des Parties Civiles pour le Rwanda (CPCR), a Paris-based group that works to bring to justice the perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide, especially those holed up in France, is among those keenly following the recent developments.
“I have learned that France had proposed four names and yesterday (Wednesday), during the Council of Ministers meeting, an Ambassador was appointed. Unfortunately I do not know neither the names of the four proposed, or the name of the person who has been retained. We are also waiting” CPCR president Alain Gauthier told The New Times.
Suspected genocide fugitives, already indicted by the Rwandan government and the ICTR, include; Agathe Kanziga Habyarimana, wife of former president Juvenal Habyarimana, who lives in France. Rwanda is yet to appoint its envoy to Paris.