Kouchner to visit Rwanda, despite frozen relations

August 1, 2007 11:56


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France's foreign minister will soon travel to Rwanda in a bid to restart diplomatic relations between the countries, he said Wednesday. Rwanda severed relations with France in November in response to a French judicial probe into Rwandan officials' role in triggering the country's 1994 genocide. Bernard Kouchner told RTL radio his visit would take place "as soon as possible, once a certain number of things have been ironed out." He did not elaborate or give a date for the trip. He said he hoped France would "be able to re-establish relations of confidence" with Rwanda. Rwanda's decision to cut ties came after a French judge investigating the 1994 downing of late Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana's plane accused current President Paul Kagame of ordering the assassination. The event sparked the slaughter of more than 500,000 people in less than 100 days. The slaughter ended after rebels, led by Kagame, ousted the extremist Hutu government that had orchestrated the massacres.

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