The Rwandan Foreign Minister will rarely visit South Africa in June

Naledi Pandor (Brendan Croft, Gauteng Foto24)

  • The Rwandan Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta is expected to make an official visit to South Africa soon.
  • This follows a meeting between South Africa and the Rwandan heads of state.
  • Relations between the two countries were tense.

Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta is expected to visit South Africa for the first time next month to “normalize” diplomatic relations between the two countries.

International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor told News24 that “we are very excited” about the visit because “we haven’t had much official contact at this level”.

She said President Cyril Ramaphosa and Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame held a one-on-one meeting in Paris on the sidelines of this week’s summit on Africa’s post-Covid-19 recovery, and she has not yet been briefed on what they are discussing.

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A video posted on the social media of the meeting showed the two heads of state talking and smiling, but carefully keeping their distance from the Covid-19 protocols.

Relations between South Africa and Rwanda have been frosty due to the number of Rwandan opposition leaders who have sought refuge in South Africa.

Rwanda sees them as militant dissidents.

The murder of Rwandan Patriotic Front member Patrick Karegeya in 2013, apparently with the knowledge of the Rwandan government, and the subsequent investigation into his death in South Africa have sparked tension between the two governments.

However, Ramaphosa tried to get to Rwanda a month after becoming president in 2018 while visiting Kigali to attend a special African Union summit.

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