The East African – Sarkozy’s visit ushers in a new phase in Rwanda-France relations

Demonstrators gather before protesting against the arrest of Rwanda’s chief of protocol Rose Kabuye by German authorities on November 19, 2008. Photo/REUTERSThe planned visit to Rwanda by President Nicolas Sarkozy on February 26 — the first of its kind by a French head of state since the 1994 genocide — is expected to boost ties between the two countries whose diplomatic relations have remained unstable for years.Speaking to journalists in Kigali, President Paul Kagame confirmed that the visit was on and that it had “implications on how we carry forward this relationship (between France and Rwanda).”However, there are worries that the sheer number of reports implicating the French for their “silent” role in the 1994 Rwanda genocide could get in the way of full restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries.For instance, according to the Mucyo Commission, the French deliberately and systematically planned and trained the “Interahamwe” — the Hutu extremist militia — to annihilate Tutsis.

The East African – Sarkozy’s visit ushers in a new phase in Rwanda-France relations

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