By: Jennifer Fierberg, MSW
After a five year term in office former President Sarkozy of France has conceded defeat to President Elect Mr. Francois Hollade. France and Rwanda have had a complex relationship for many decades with attempted amends being made when President Paul Kagame of Rwanda visited former President Sarkozy in 2011 to mend relations between the two countries. This meeting appeared to be positive to the international community yet when France sent their new ambassador to Rwanda she was refused her post by President Paul Kagame due political issues. According to a source in France it was reported that, “France has recalled its ambassador to Rwanda Laurent Contini after the authorities in Kigali refused to accept Paris’s choice of a new envoy. Weekly Jeune Afrique had reported that Kigali earlier this month rejected the nomination of Hélène Le Gal, currently France’s consul in Quebec, because she was considered too close to French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé.” President Kagame denied any personal reasons and stated that her CV did not meet with Kigali’s expectations.
How this change in government will effect relations between Rwanda and France has yet to be seen but Rwanda has clearly stated they wish to maintain a relationship of “friendship and active cooperation” between the two countries.
Press Release from the RPP:
Malmo, Sweden, 06/05/2012
Mr. Francois Hollande, President-Elect
le Président de la République
Palais de l’Elysée
55, Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré
On the occasion of your election as President of the Republic of France, allow me, on my personal behalf and on behalf of my party, the Rwanda People’s Party (RPP), to extend my sincere congratulations and wishes for every success in the execution of your important and responsible position.
The role and significance of your country in promoting global democracy, peace and security and as well as safe, stable and prosperous Europe place enormous responsibility on your shoulders.
The Rwanda – France colonial relationship is also a relationship of the two peoples. The people of France and Rwanda previous shared a good bilateral relationship dating back for many years. This partnership benefited the people of both countries.
The relations of the two countries have been strained since the tragic events of 1994 for which we don’t apportion blame but want to learn lessons.
Despite the continued political set-back between our two countries, I am pleased to inform you that our two nations and people are still linked by the bonds of friendship which have been intimately connected for decades of years.
It is in this spirit of dialogue that we wish to amend the strained relationship between the France and Rwanda in order to move forward to expand our collaboration, build on our common goals and promote freedom and democracy in our sister countries.
Indeed, I believe we share the opinion that without accelerated dialogue between our sister nations, the avenue that leads to our common goals, stability and prosperity for our people, will be difficult.
Once again, please accept, Mr. Hollande, my congratulations and the assurances of my highest consideration.
John V KARURANGA, President
Rwanda People’s Party
Facebook: John V KARURANGA