Rwanda, Netherlands pledge stronger ties

Rwanda and the Kingdom of the Netherlands will continue to advance mutual interests in various areas, officials from both sides said yesterday.

Rwanda and the Kingdom of the Netherlands will continue to advance mutual interests in various areas, officials from both sides said yesterday.

They were speaking during celebrations to mark The Dutch King’s Day at the ambassador’s residence in Nyarutarama, a Kigali suburb.

Speaking at the event, the Minister for Justice, Johnston Busingye, explained how the two countries have over time built their relationship.

“The Netherlands has literally walked with Rwanda a journey that has pulled the Justice Sector from inexistence not only to existence but to a modest form and content which much of the rest of the world today identifies with, conducts justice business with and trusts to handle litigation of any amount of complexity,” he said.

The Dutch Ambassador to Rwanda, Leoni Cuelenaere, spoke on the connectivity between the two countries.

“The Netherlands is linked to Rwanda through years of cooperation, infrastructure projects, justice cooperation and transfer of knowledge and friendship…Rwandan involvement with Holland ranges from decisions on investments to agricultural exports. Connectivity is often considered a modern idea,” Cuelenaere said.

“We recognise that there is interdependence between all nations and the actions they take…by working together we can address the problems which often seem too large for any one nation to resolve,” envoy added.

The Netherlands is credited with playing a key role in facilitating post-Genocide justice, including through the Gacaca courts.

“The massive funding of the Gacaca process enabled Rwanda to deal with one area that was, arguably, the biggest justice challenge inherited from our traumatic history,” Busingye said.

He recalled: “When my Government talked about a transitional justice model that would reconcile and unite citizens, fed on a divisive ideology for over four decades, the Dutch Government was not deterred by the enormity of the task.

“You backed us up. Today we are reconciled, more united than we have ever been and confident that we will accomplish the remaining tasks.”

The Dutch envoy said: “Relationships between countries, governments and people are now based on mutual benefit, win-win outcomes. We recognize that there is interdependence between all nations and the actions they take.”

The King's Day is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and it is celebrated every April 27. It’s the day that the Dutch King Willem-Alexander was born – in 1967.

The two countries pledged to continue working together in several sectors of strategic interest to both countries.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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