KIGALI - THE Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Eugène Munyakayanza, has refuted continued media reports that relations between Rwanda and South Africa are strained.
The reports stem from an incident in which former Rwandan Ambassador to India, Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, was shot and wounded in Johannesburg in June.
Nyamwasa and former Head of External Security; Patrick Karegeya, also in South Africa, are wanted in Rwanda in connection with causing insecurity in the country.
Munyakayanza told The New Times yesterday that the relations between the two countries remain stable and work continues to progress as usual at both countries’ respective embassies.
“There is no cause for alarm. The President (Paul Kagame) himself told Rwandans that the relationships between the two countries are fine. The South African Embassy here is open, our embassy in South Africa is open, in fact, I have just been on the phone with our embassy staff. I don’t see why people speculate too much,” he said.
When asked about the government reaction to South Africa’s decision to recall their High Commissioner, Dumisani Gwadiso, Munyakayanza said it was normal procedure.
“Calling back an envoy (for consultations) is normal.
Diplomatically, it’s not an issue. Ambassadors are expected to update their bosses about their work every now and then. There is nothing alarming,” he said.
The South African Director General at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation Ayanda Ntsaluba also recently told the South African local media that Gwadiso’s summons was nothing but ‘routine consultations’.
Though both countries don’t have an extradition treaty, Rwanda continues to push the South African government to arrest and extradite both Nyamwasa and Karegeya, something that Munyakayanza says their counterparts are looking into.