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France and Rwanda restore diplomatic relations

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-11-29

France and Rwanda have agreed to re-open diplomatic relations severed in 2006 after a French judge issued arrest warrants for senior Rwandan officials, including President Paul Kagame, in connection with the country's 1994 genocide.

AFP - France and Rwanda plan to restore diplomatic ties cut in 2006 when Paris issued arrest warrants for aides to President Paul Kagame over the genocide in the African state, French officials said Sunday.

President Nicolas Sarkozy's chief of staff Claude Gueant met Sunday with Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Kigali and after that meeting the two leaders decided to restore relations, Sarkozy's office said in a statement.

Ties between the two countries have been strained since the 1994 genocide, owing to Kigali's accusation that French forces trained extremist Hutu militia that carried out the killings.

Paris has repeatedly denied the charge.

Rwanda broke off relations after a French investigating judge issued arrest warrants for nine Rwandans suspected of plotting the downing of president Juvenal Habyarimana's plane in April 1994.

That event sparked the violence that led to the slaughter of more than 500,000 people, mainly Tutsis and moderate Hutus, in less than 100 days.

Kigali has repeatedly accused France of having evacuated or facilitated the departure from Rwanda of high-ranking figures implicated in the genocide.

Date created : 2009-11-29

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