SA-Rwanda relations under the microscope again


The diplomatic relations between Rwanda and South Africa are again under strain following the recent incident where South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu was allegedly called a “prostitute” by a pro-government website.

South African Ambassador to Rwanda, George Twala, has also reportedly been called to SA to report on developments which saw an falling out centred around Sisulu and exiled former Rwanda army chief General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa in Johannesburg recently.

Rwandan deputy foreign minister Olivier Nduhungirehe took to twitter to criticise Sisulu, however, he did not mention her name in the tweet, according to media reports.

The attacks aimed at the South African minister come after a recent meeting she had with Nyamwasa in Johannesburg in which the two discussed potential reconciliation with Kigali.

Sisulu was also referred to as “Mr Nyamwasa’s prostitute” in the headline story on pro-government website Rushyashya although this has since been removed.

Nduhungirehe said South Africa was free to negotiate with a “convicted criminal” who is “leading a subversive movement”, but must not involve Rwanda in this “negotiation”.

Nyamwasa fled Rwanda in 2010 and has been based in South Africa ever since. He has since established a Rwandan opposition party.

President Paul Kgame’s government has continued a crackdown on critics, political opponents and journalists, with a wave of arrests, disappearances and draconian jail sentences. In December 2013, Patrick Karegeya, Rwanda’s former head of intelligence, was murdered in an upmarket hotel in Sandton, allegedly by Rwandan agents.

The latest crisis happened at a time when the relations between Rwanda and South Africa had just begun to stabilise following a previous freeze between the two countries dating back to 2010.

Sisulu’s spokesperson has spoken out about the comments aimed at the minister and described them as unacceptable and Pretoria has lodged a protest with the Rwandan government at the highest level.


Article sourced from African News Agency (ANA)

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