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Rwanda, France to normalize diplomatic relations ahead of Macron’s visit

French President Emmanuel Macros will appoint the new ambassador to Rwanda ahead of his first official visit to Rwanda marking…

French President Emmanuel Macros will appoint the new ambassador to Rwanda ahead of his first official visit to Rwanda marking a final step to normalize diplomatic relations between the two countries, a diplomatic source revealed Monday.French President Emmanuel Macron will travel to Rwanda this week from Thursday to Friday, as the final step in the normalization of relations between France and Rwanda, it said.

Rwanda severed diplomatic relations with France in 2006 after a French judge issued arrest warrants against Rwandan officials accused of links to the shooting down of President Juvénal Habyarimana’s jet in April 1994.

Analysts believe the diplomatic nomination comes at a sensitive time for bilateral ties but should be viewed as a gesture of goodwill by Paris.

Diplomatic ties were restored in 2009, but France has not had an accredited ambassador in Kigali since 2015.

The move comes after officials have released earlier this year the first ever report documenting Paris’ role in the 1994 genocide, an act which Rwandan President Paul Kagame described as a “big step forward” in repairing relations between the two countries.

France has always denied any responsibility for the killings, but French officials have at several occasion sought to improve relations with Kigali by seeking justice for the victims.

In February 2010, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy admitted that his country had made “grave errors of judgment” in the 1994 Rwandan genocide but stopped short of offering a formal apology.

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