Berlin, Kinshasa envoys named
Amandin Rugira, the outgoing Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, has been named Rwanda’s Ambassador in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as the two countries seek to restore diplomatic relations.
This was announced Wednesday during a Cabinet Meeting at Urugwiro Village chaired by President Paul Kagame.
The same meeting also nominated Christine Nkurikiyinka, as Rwanda’s envoy to Germany, to take over the embassy in Berlin after a diplomatic standoff last year in which Rwanda recalled its Ambassador and the German envoy in Kigali was sent home.
“As you should have noticed in the Joint Communiqué from the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Rwanda and DRC on the 27 and 28 of March, the two parties agreed and committed themselves to exchange Ambassadors in a bid to advance diplomatic relations and that’s what we have done.”
Museminali said in a phone interview with The New Times.
Museminali however said that Rugira and Nkurikiyinka are ‘nominees’ for the posts but will have to undergo the normal vetting processes before they are fully confirmed by all parties.
“Until their credentials are approved by the resident countries, we cannot refer to them as Ambassadors but the first step of naming is a sign that relations have been fully restored” Museminali confirmed.
The DRC is yet to name its envoy to Kigali to fully restore the relations which have been severed for almost a decade.
Museminali however insisted that Rwanda-Germany diplomatic relations were not ‘severed’ as believed but the two countries had to sort out a few differences provoked by the November arrest of Rose Kabuye, the Director of State Protocol in Frankfurt Germany, which prompted Rwanda to send home Christian Clages, the Germany envoy and consequently recalling Eugene Gasana from Berlin.
However in January this year officials from the two countries met and resolved the diplomatic row.
On DRC, Museminali said that as the two countries discuss the legal complexities in the case of Gen. Laurent Nkunda, it is necessary that they continue with other processes aimed at implementing the recommendations of the four-plus-four meetings currently going on.
“On top of renewing the CEPGL, we are now looking forward to starting people-to-people relations. We want to see ordinary citizens, Legislators, Governors and Mayors hold regular meetings to share views and ideas. As I talk now there’s a meeting of Governors from DRC and Rwanda” asserted Museminali.
Rugira will be replaced by Eugene Munyakayanza at the Ministry as PS.
Munyakayanza was Rwanda’s Ambassador to South Africa.
Meanwhile Rwanda’s Ambassador to Uganda, Ignatius Kamali Karegesa moves to Pretoria, South Africa, while Eugene Gasana will replace Prof. Joseph Nsengimana in New York as the Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
In other changes made, Nsengimana will be replacing Gaspard Nyirinkindi who was recalled, as Rwanda’s Ambassador in Addis Ababa and at the African Union; while Gerald Ntwari is the country’s new man in Brussels.
Among other appointments, Shakira Umutoni was appointed the First Councillor at the Rwandan Embassy in Dar-es-Salaam while Edward Bizumuremyi was appointed Rwanda’s commercial attaché to Switzerland.
The meeting also promoted Major Vincent Nyakarundi to the rank of Lt. Colonel and appointed Rwanda’s Military Attaché to the United Nations in New York.