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Rwanda-Ethiopia: New agreement for military and defence cooperation

Defence Minister Gen Marcel Gatsinzi and his Ethiopian counterpart Siraj Fegesa signing the agreement

Defence Minister Gen Marcel Gatsinzi and his Ethiopian counterpart Siraj Fegesa signing the agreement

KIGALI – Rwanda and Ethiopia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in order to strengthen further the defence and military cooperation between the two countries.

The MoU was signed on March 25 by the Minister of Defence, Gen. Marcel Gatsinzi and his Ethiopian counterpart, Siraj Fegesa as well as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. James Kabarebe, and his Ethiopian counterpart, Gen. Samora Yunus.

The agreement will see the two countries strengthen defence and military cooperation in the area of training and education as well as sharing information on military operations and equipment.

Gen. Gatsinzi said that Rwanda and Ethiopia have shared a long history of cooperation in the areas of defence and that the new bilateral deal will cement the already existing ‘strong relationship’ the two nations have been sharing.

His Ethiopian counterpart Siraj Fegesa said that his country is committed to maintain the long-lasting ‘sisterly’ relations the two countries have shared and that they will continue to work hand-in-hand to maintain high standards of stability and citizen protection.

“When the 1994 Genocide started, Ethiopia was the first country to respond and called upon the international community to react. We were also among the first to send soldiers here to intervene,” Fegesa said.

“This shows you that we have had a long history of brotherhood and we believe this MoU will further enhance the mutual understanding between ourselves as well as the mutual benefits that will come out of the bilateral cooperation,” he added.

[The New Times]

March 28, 2010   No Comments

Who is William Nkurunziza, the new ambassador to India?

William NkurunzizaWilliam Nkurunziza

Kigali: The newly appointed ambassador to India, Mr. William Nkurunziza is the man who came under severe criticism four years ago for incompetency from President Paul Kagame and later lost his job.

Mr. Nkurunziza was the first head of Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Agency (RIEPA) – charged with bringing in investments and increasing exports. RIEPA is now part of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
His job came to the rocks when the appointing authority seemed not to see any tangible results.

In February 2006, President Paul Kagame broke his silence.

“How will you talk about investment, export promotion, education and other things we intend to discuss here without exploring viable ways of addressing the power crisis we are facing?” he said at the annual closed-door retreat.

Saying he was only giving examples, the President made references to several officials namely labour and public service minister El Hajj Andre Habib Bumaya (now exiled), education minister Prof. Romain Murenzi (left country), and the Director General of Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Williams Nkurunziza, and said that some high-profile leaders were working unacceptably.

“However much you, Williams Nkurunziza, might speak good English and be eloquent when talking about export promotion, without electricity you achieve nothing,” Kagame fired.

He wondered how twelve years after the so called enlightened leadership, energy crisis had continued to dog the country. “Twelve years in power without power!”

And indeed in May the following year, Mr. Nkurunziza was sacked and replaced with Mr. Francis Gatare at RIEPA. Mr. Gatare is now the Principal Private Secretary to the President.

Mr. Nkurunziza was not given any posting after serving at the helm of the investment body for several years. Since then he has reportedly been working in Nairobi.

It is hoped that, in the meantime, he has acquired more skills which will allow him to show real performance in his new post as Rwandan Ambassador to India.

March 28, 2010   12 Comments

Sarkozy in Rwanda: another mistake by the French?

French Justice considers Paul Kagame and his men as criminals and wants them to face justice (triggering the Rwandan genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes).
French President Nicolas Sarkozy considers now that France needs to kneel down and partner with them.
Is that another mistake by the French?

Nicolas Sarkozy in Rwanda – February 26, Kigali.

March 28, 2010   No Comments