Rwanda Information Portal

Belgium , Rwanda sign €160M agreement

The Government of Belgium, yesterday, signed with their Rwandan counterpart, a new bilateral development cooperation framework worth €160 million.

A joint commission will guide Belgium development cooperation and interventions in Rwanda.

Dirk Achten of the Belgium Ministry of Foreign Affairs, emphasized that the new financial commitment meant a qualitative and significant step forward in the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

“We earmarked €55 million for the health sector, another €55 million for energy, €28 million for decentralization. The rest will support ongoing projects,” he said.

The Indicative Cooperation Programme 2011-2014 is the first Belgian development framework since the Rwanda government endorsed the Division of Labor development plan in July 2010.

The new arrangement restricts development partners to be active in at least three sectors each, to ensure aid effectiveness.

John Rwangombwa, the Minister of Finance, explained that relations with Belgium have always been positive as they continue to support Rwanda’s aid effectiveness agenda.

By aligning to the division of labour, he called them a ‘model’ Development Partner that others should emulate.

“The support promised to the energy, health and decentralization sectors will contribute towards sustainable development and improve dignified lives for all Rwandans,” Rwangombwa said.

Dr. Agnes Binangwaho, the Minister of Health and Rwanda’s Ambassador to Belgium, Robert Masozera, were among the dignitaries who witnessed the signing.

Rwanda is currently the second largest recipient of Belgian aid.

[New Times]

May 19, 2011   1 Comment

Ambassadors of Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Benin, Thailand, Portugal, Norway and Ghana present letters of accreditation to Rwandan General Paul Kagame

Kigali – It was an eventful day at Village Urugwiro yesterday, as eight ambassadors and high commissioners presented their letters of accreditation to President Paul Kagame.

They were the Ambassadors from Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Benin, the Kingdom of Thailand, Portugal, Norway and the High Commissioner of Ghana.

First to present credentials was Cuba’s Ambassador to Rwanda, Francesco Javier Viamontes Correa, who told reporters that he will embark on promoting bilateral co-operation between Rwanda and Cuba, especially in the areas of health and education.

“We want to share our knowledge, experience, solidarity with the government of Rwanda and I am impressed by the developments Rwanda has achieved in a short period of time,” he added.

Correa who has a permanent residence in Kampala, stated that there was a team 30 Cuban doctors who concluded their contracts in Rwanda in March and that his country was working on a new agreement to continue the programme.

The new North Korean envoy, Jong Thae Yang, said that he will strengthen cooperation between the two countries in the areas of agriculture, education and public health.

“I am impressed by Kigali, it’s one of the cleanliest cities I have ever seen in Africa,” noted Yang who resides in Kampala.

The Ghanaian High Commissioner, Kingsley Saka Abdul Karimu stressed that Ghana and Rwanda have enjoyed good bilateral relationship over the years.

“I am going to work with the government here to explore all avenues where we can improve economic cooperation,” said Karimu, who has a permanent residence in Nairobi.

The Kampala-based Iranian envoy, Ali Akbar Dabiran, said that he will embark on cementing bilateral cooperation between the two countries by bringing investors to Rwanda especially in the field of Agriculture.

[New Times]

May 19, 2011   1 Comment

Former Rwandan army chief Augustin Bizimungu gets 30 years for genocide

General Augustin Bizimungu

A war crimes tribunal for Rwanda sentenced the African nation’s former army chief to 30 years in prison Tuesday for his part in the 1994 genocide that killed 800,000 people.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) found Augustin Bizimungu guilty on six counts of genocide, crimes against humanity for murder, extermination and rape and violations of the Geneva Conventions.

During the genocide, soldiers and police under Bizimungu’s command directed the extermination of tens of thousands of Tutsi civilians who had taken refuge in churches, hospitals and schools, according to Human Rights Watch. Soldiers and police also ordered civilian officials and ordinary citizens to join in hunting down and killing the Tutsi and punished them if they failed to do so, the human rights monitoring group said.

Bizimungu fled to Angola, where he was arrested in 2002 and transferred to the tribunal. In 2004, he was charged with directly ordering brutal acts against Tutsis and failing to halt the acts of his subordinates. He denied the charges.

The tribunal also convicted two other senior officers — François-Xavier Nzuwonemeye and Innocent Sagahutu — who each got 20 years in prison.

The Rwandan genocide was triggered by the April 6, 1994, shooting down of a plane carrying the nation’s Hutu president.

May 19, 2011   No Comments