An extraordinary Cabinet meeting on Friday named seven envoys to foreign countries, including the two new embassies in Israel and Egypt.
Col. Joseph Rutabana was named ambassador designate to Israel while Sheikh Saleh Habimana was named Rwanda’s ambassador designate to Cairo.
The envoys await approval from the Senate.
Plans to open an embassy in Tel Aviv, Isreal were first announced last year after Rwanda signed a partnership agreement with Israel establishing a forum for consultations between the two states.
The deal was signed in Kigali by the Israel Minister for Foreign Affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, who was on an official visit to the country, and his Rwandan counterpart Louise Mushikiwabo.
Also nominated was Stanislas Kamanzi, the former Minister for Natural Resources, who was named new Rwanda’s envoy to Abuja, in Nigeria.
Speaking to The New Times over the weekend, Kamanzi welcomed the Cabinet appointment.
“I welcome the appointment and thank the President for his trust in me,” Kamanzi said.
He was appointed Minister for Infrastructure in March 2006, and then Minister for Natural Resources in March 2008.
In other appointments, Christine Nkurikiyinka, was named country’s envoy to Stockholm, Sweden; Amb. Venetia Sebudandi, to Tokyo, Japan and Guillaume Kavaruganda to Singapore.
Cesar Igor, a member of the Rwandan Diaspora (Canada), goes to Berlin, Germany, replacing Amb. Nkurikiyinka.
Igor, who was born in Germany but spent most of his childhood and youth in Tanzania and Burundi before settling in Edmonton, Canada, in December 1993, is fluent in six languages.
The former student of the Campus Saint Jean of the University of Alberta, (Canada) majored in political science and has reportedly served in many leadership positions in Francophone community organisations. He co-founded Ubuntu Edmonton, a charity organisation working with widows of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Amb. Sebudandi was Rwanda’s ambassador to Sweden and other Nordic countries.
Sheikh Habimana, now member of the Chamber of Deputies’ Standing Committee on Economy and Trade, is a former head Mufti, among others, while Kavaruganda was Minister Counsellor at the Rwandan embassy at The Hague. A former diplomat in Geneva and Washington, Kavaruganda was also at one time Director of Protocol in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Col. Rutabana, currently Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Defence, was previously Rwanda’s Chargé d’Affaires to Sudan.
Sebudandi who was in Stockholm has also served in Geneva. The post in Singapore was previously occupied by the current Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Amb Jeanine Kambanda.
The cabinet also made numerous appointments in various organs, including in the national commission for the fight against genocide (CNLG), where Senator Dr Jean Damascene Bizimana, was made executive secretary, replacing Jean De Dien Mucyo.