Rwanda – France: towards a new storm?
Relations between Kigali and Paris are again tense. Rwanda has decided to recall its French ambassador following the convening of Rwandan Defense Minister James Kabarebe in the investigation into the death of former head of state Juvenal Habyarimana in 1994.
Rwanda’s ambassador to Paris, Jacques Kabale, was recalled to Kigali “for consultation”. An incident following the announcement of the convocation, by a Paris anti-terrorist magistrate, of the Minister of Defense, James Kabarebe (photo), for a confrontation with a last-minute witness who accuses the Rwandan Patriotic Army – the former Tutsi rebellion – to have shot the plane of the Head of State Juvenal Habyarimana, April 6, 1994. According to a source close to Paul Kagame, a rupture of the diplomatic relations would be a “contingency”. A Rwandan diplomat added that “this is a probable scenario, unless the cause of this recall disappears”.
To a West African head of state expressing his embarrassment at the deterioration of relations between Kigali and Paris, Emmanuel Macron addressed, in essence, this message: it is not about the opening of a new instruction, but of the pursuit of the old; thank you for reminding President Paul Kagame that French justice is independent. France, it has no ambassador in Rwanda since the departure of Michel Flesch in 2015, Kigali having never granted approval to his successor.