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Bridging divides: President Kagame’s quest for renewed Rwanda-South Africa ties

By IGIHE
On 5 April 2024 at 12:18

President Paul Kagame has voiced his desire for Rwanda and South Africa to rekindle their friendly ties, reminiscent of the warm relations shared post-1994 Genocide against the Tutsi until 2013.

In a conversation with SABC News’ Sophie Mokoena, Kagame underscored the pivotal role South Africa, under Nelson Mandela’s stewardship, played in Rwanda’s progress by providing educational avenues for Rwandan youth.

Kagame looked back on the era of Mandela and [Thabo] Tabo Mbeki with fondness, noting that during their time, the relationship between the two countries was mutually beneficial.

They facilitated the education of Rwandan youth in South Africa, a group that included both those impacted by the genocide and descendants of perpetrators, by sending them in significant numbers.

He mentioned that the support from South Africa was instrumental in Rwanda’s development, highlighting the importance of the financial aid provided for tuition fees at local rates.

The President recalled that the relationship soured when Colonel Patrick Karegeya, a former head of Rwanda’s intelligence, was killed in South Africa.

At the time, the Rwandan government was accused of being involved in his death, an allegation Rwanda has consistently denied.

Based on the strong historical ties between the two countries, President Kagame argued that it is not fitting for the nations to continue their current strained relations but instead should resolve their differences.

The journalist reported that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor are planning to join Rwandans in commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Genocide against the Tutsi on Sunday, April 7th.

The visit by Ramaphosa and Pandor is expected to include discussions aimed at revitalizing the relationship between the two countries.

In a conversation with SABC News’ Sophie Mokoena, Kagame underscored the pivotal role South Africa, under Nelson Mandela’s stewardship, played in Rwanda’s progress by providing educational avenues for Rwandan youth.
President Paul Kagame has voiced his desire for Rwanda and South Africa to rekindle their friendly ties.

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