KIGALI - The Dutch Community in Rwanda, Thursday evening joined fellow nationals around the world to celebrate Queen’s Day, a symbolic day for national unity and togetherness.
The Dutch Ambassador to Rwanda, Frans Makken, hosted the Dutch community and other invited guests to a cocktail at his residence, which emphasised on improved relations between Rwanda and Holland.
Addressing the guests, Makken said that the cooperation between the two countries had been broadened and taken to new heights in the last couple of years, as demonstrated by several high profile visits by officials from both countries.
“Following the visit of Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama to the Netherlands in January 2010, our former Minister of Justice came to Rwanda in June 2010,” he said.
“That visit resulted into a Memorandum of Understanding in which the two ministers reaffirmed that there should be no safe haven for persons suspected of international crimes, including Genocide and crimes against humanity,” Makken said.
The Dutch envoy noted that the agreement has since been followed by an exchange of information by the two countries aimed at extraditing suspects between the two countries.
Makken observed that the 17 commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, just two weeks ago, served to remind the two countries that impunity of any form cannot be tolerated.
“Not only are laws on Genocide denial and Genocide ideology being revised, but the media law will also be reviewed. Public debate is being organised on a number of issues,” Makken observed.
The Dutch Ambassador committed his country’s continued support to development efforts in Rwanda by supporting various sectors of the economy such as agriculture and education.
He also commended Rwanda’s peacekeeping efforts abroad, and at the same time, said that military cooperation that exists between the two countries would be strengthened.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo, Ben Rutsinga, the Director of Europe, America and international organisations in the Ministry said that Rwanda is committed to maintaining the good relations.
“I wish to affirm Rwanda’s commitment to further strengthen the good relations to greater heights, for the mutual benefit of our two peoples,” Rutsinga said.
The Queen's Day is marked in honour of the birthday of the Dutch.