Rwanda, East Timor eye partnerships

Rwanda and East Timor are looking at possibilities of forming partnerships in the areas of tourism and gas extraction. This was revealed by Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi shortly after meeting the East Timorese Deputy Premier, Jose Luis Guterres, at the former’s office yesterday.
Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi (L) chats with East Timor Deputy Premier José Luís Guterres after their meeting in Kigali. The New Times / J. Mbanda.
Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi (L) chats with East Timor Deputy Premier José Luís Guterres after their meeting in Kigali. The New Times / J. Mbanda.

Rwanda and East Timor are looking at possibilities of forming partnerships in the areas of tourism and gas extraction.

This was revealed by Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi shortly after meeting the East Timorese Deputy Premier, Jose Luis Guterres, at the former’s office yesterday.

Guterres has been in the country to attend the just concluded high-level UN Post-Conflict Peace Building Conference.

“East Timor is blessed with gas and oil, but has also developed its tourism industry. So we discussed how we can partner in those areas since we also have much gas to exploit,” said Habumuremyi, adding that both countries’ experience can be reciprocated.

He added that the partnership would be based on sharing experiences and learning from one another for the advancement of both countries in future.

“He is impressed by the level of development and the energy exhibited by the people of Rwanda and their leaders in overcoming the effects of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi,” he said.

Habumuremyi also said that Guterres expressed interest in the annual National Dialogue and requested that they be invited to see how it is conducted.

In an interview, Guterres commended Rwanda’s leadership for the visible economic development in a short time and said that his country is also moving in the same direction after a long time of conflict.

“In future, we will have exchange visits between the two countries because we have similar ambitions,” he said.

Guterres also visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial at Gisozi where he paid tribute to thousands of Genocide victims buried there.

After the visit, he condemned the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, calling upon the world to make sure that such incidences never happen again anywhere.

Guterres said that he was impressed by the way the Genocide was documented.

“This is a history for Rwanda and the whole country. I am impressed by the way it has been preserved”.

He said that the same method could be good for his own country which similarly faced conflicts which resulted into killings.

East Timor declared its independence in 1975, but was later invaded and occupied by Indonesian forces. It was incorporated into Indonesia in 1976 as the province of East Timor, until 1999, and was again declared independent in 2002. During the subsequent 24-year occupation, a pacification campaign ensued.

Between 1975 and 1999, there were an estimated 102,800 conflict-related deaths (approximately 18,600 killings and 84,200 other deaths from hunger and illness), the majority of which occurred during the Indonesian occupation.

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