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Wednesday, 6 July 2016

But Kigali is the safest city in Africa! Why all the security?

Mulamba Jean Paul

Roads closed, security tight as Netanyahu lands in Rwanda

Major roads linking Rwanda's capital Kigali to the 10km main road from the airport have been blocked off as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in the country for a one day visit.

The Israeli Premier is in Rwanda for few hours during which he has visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre at Gisozi and is expected to hold talks with President Paul Kagame at Village Urugwiro.

Upon arrival, he was welcomed by Mr Kagame at the airport where he inspected a Guard of Honour before proceeding to the memorial centre where he was taken around the museum which contains records of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
President Paul Kagame (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inspecting a guard of honour shortly after he arrived in Rwanda on July 6, 2016. PHOTO | URUGWIRO VILLAGE

The two leaders will address the press before concluding the visit.

The road from Kigali International Airport (KIA) to Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre remained sealed off as motorists and pedestrians were asked to use alternative routes.

Adjoining roads to the main road which link to the main administrative and commercial parts of the city were closed off as stranded motorists parked in wait.

“We don’t know when we will be released to go. We are just waiting. It is a huge inconvenience,” a motorist who spoke to The EastAfrican said.
Rwanda National Police Traffic Department spokesperson, Jean Marie Vianney Ndushabandi, however said only one road was closed off to allow safe passage for the visiting leader.

“The other roads are open. There are alternative roads people can use,” he said briefly on phone. However, motorists and pedestrians said that alternative roads were not communicated.

The two countries share a similar history with regard to the Tutsi Genocide and the Jewish Holocaust.

Ties between the two countries have been strengthened in recent years, with Rwanda opening a diplomatic mission in Tel Aviv in March 2015.
They also have in place trade and investment partnership agreements with the Israel pledging to support Rwanda in sectors such as ICT, agriculture and defence among others.

Last year, Rwanda appointed Col Joseph Rutabana as the country’s Ambassador to Israel.
However, some of Rwanda’s dealings with Israel are not without controversy.

Last year, it emerged that Rwanda had signed a pact with Israel to take some unwanted immigrants from different African countries in return for favourable deals. Uganda is also involved in the deal and has come under scrutiny.
The agreement, which has come under scrutiny by human rights organisations, allows Israel to deport hundreds of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers to both Rwanda and Uganda in return for favourable deals that include millions of dollars in grants.
Addressing a press conference in Kigali last year, President Kagame acknowledged that discussions between Rwanda and Israel were ongoing.

“On Rwanda and Israel, yes, I know there has been this discussion and it has been a debate in Israel about these Africans who have migrated to Israel as they do to other European countries. Some of them are either there illegally or with different status,” President Kagame said at the time.

Earlier this year, it emerged that Israel had sold arms to Rwanda during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, but the Israeli government said it would keep the details of the arms deal confidential.
From Rwanda, Netanyahu will head to Ethiopia as he concludes an eastern Africa tour which also covered Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda.

Mulamba Jean Paul / Author & Editor

Has laoreet percipitur ad. Vide interesset in mei, no his legimus verterem. Et nostrum imperdiet appellantur usu, mnesarchum referrentur id vim.

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