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Germany

Rwanda Restores Relations with Germany After Diplomatic Row

The arrest of a top Rwandan official for her alleged role in the 1994 genocide led Kigali to cut diplomatic relations with Germany. On Monday, Rwanda announced the decision to restore ties.

Rwandan chief of protocol with former US Secretary of States Madeleine Albright

The arrest of Rwandan chief of protocol Rose Kabuye (left) led to a freeze on relations

Rwanda is restoring diplomatic relations with Germany, after a falling out between the two countries over Berlin's arrest of a top official for her role in the 1994 genocide in the small land-locked central African country.

The two countries had agreed to work together to sort out matters of contention and planned to re-appoint ambassadors to their respective capitals, according to a foreign ministry statement issued on Monday.

"Germany and Rwanda share a long history of friendly relations. In the mutual interest of both countries and their people, they want to look forward and have agreed to work together to iron out matters disagreed upon," the foreign ministry statement said. Rwanda had once been a part of German East Africa, but subsequently became a Belgian colony after World War I.

"Following this, in a visible sign of resolve, Germany and Rwanda have agreed to post to each others' capitals new heads of respective diplomatic missions in the near future."

German arrest led to extradition to France

German police had arrested Rose Kabuye, 47, the Rwandan regime's head of protocol, during a visit to Germany last November and extradited her to France, where she was wanted on a French terrorism charge. Kabuye had been charged in 2006 for her alleged role in downing a plane that carried former Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana, whose death sparked the genocide.

The governing regime had accused the French and other Europeans of expending more effort in persecuting the survivors of the Tutsi genocide instead of hunting down the perpetrators belonging to the Hutu tribe.

Protesters gather at the German embassy in Kigali Monday, Nov. 10, 2008, in response to the arrest of Rose Kabuye

Protestors laid siege to the German embassy in Kigali

Kabuye's arrest in Germany had caused a furore in Kigali, which then simultaneously expelled Germany's ambassador to Rwanda and recalled its own ambassador to Berlin.

The case against Kabuye, will be heard on January 28 in Paris, according to government sources. Meanwhile in a related development yesterday, a Belgian court was supposed to hear the case of two Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) generals who were also indicted in November 2006 alongside Kabuye, but their trial date has not been set yet.

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