Kagame congratulates Macron for re-election as French president

On 25 April 2022 at 06:56

President Paul Kagame has congratulated his counterpart of France, Emmanuel Macron for re-election as French President following polls held on Sunday 24th April 2022.

“Congratulations on your well-deserved re-election President @EmmanuelMacron. This is a testament to your visionary leadership that seeks to unite and not divide. Rwanda looks forward to even more and stronger partnerships between our people and nations,” he tweeted.

Rwanda, France relations wavered in the past over the role France is accused to have played during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

However, both countries’ relations have been on good progress since Macron took office in 2017.

In 2021, Macron came to Rwanda for a two-day maiden visit from 27th to 28th May where he admitted his country’s responsibility during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

"Standing here today, with humility and respect, by your side, I have come to recognize our responsibilities," said Macron as he visited Kigali Genocide Memorial.

At the time, he said that France had a duty to admit the "suffering it inflicted on the Rwandan people by too long valuing silence over the examination of the truth."

Macron said that only those who had survived the horrors “can perhaps forgive ; give us the gift of forgiveness”.

The visit was held shortly after the release of Duclert report that reviewed archives on France’s role during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

It was made by an expert committee of French historians led by Prof. Vincent Duclert.

The report by French historians revealed that France bears "heavy and overwhelming responsibilities" over tragic history that led to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi which took lives of over 1 million victims.

The report blames the then French President, François Mitterrand, for a "failure" of policy towards Rwanda in 1994. The findings were made public after years of French official secrecy over links to the Government led by Juvenal Habyarimana.

On the first day of his visit to Rwanda last year, Macron visited Kigali Genocide Memorial where he paid tribute to over 250,000 victims of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

He also participated in a joint press conference with his host, President Paul Kagame, visited Tumba College of Technology where a Department of Mechatronics would be set up through a partnership with French Agency for Development (AFD).

On the same day, Macron visited Gikondo Health Center before officiating the launch of French Cultural Center located near Kigali Convention Center, Kimihurura Sector, Gasabo District.

The center has a section dedicated to learning French, culture-based training and providing official French language certification, boasts a large outdoor stage that can host shows and concerts.

On Thursday night, Macron and Kagame also watched quarter-finals of the inaugural season of Basketball Africa League (BAL) during which Patriots BBC representing Rwanda beat Ferroviário de Maputo representing Mozambique73-71 at Kigali Arena.

Among others, his visit left various agreements signed between both countries. The pacts include a framework for bilateral cooperation signed between French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian and Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincent Biruta.

The two countries signed an agreement for sports and talent development which saw Rwanda receiving €1.5 million (approximately Rwf1.84 billion) for sport and talent development.

Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana also signed a Euro 60 million financing agreement with Rémy Rioux the Director-General of French Agency for Development (AFD).

His coming to Rwanda was considered a major milestone to turning a new page for both countries relations blurred by France’s failure to admit its role during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

Rwanda, France diplomatic relations date back in 1962 after obtaining Independence.

President Kagame has congratulated Macron for re-election as French president.