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Belgium’s decision to refuse envoy approval leaves Rwanda in lament

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Rwanda government says Belgium’s decline to approve the appointment of its ambassador is unfortunate and not a good image. Image by

Rwanda considers Belgium’s refusal to approve the appointment of its ambassador as “unfortunate”, a government spokesman said Wednesday 26 July 2023, adding that the move “does not bode well” for bilateral relations.

Vincent Karega, Rwanda’s former ambassador to South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) — from where he was expelled last October amid tensions between the two countries — had been chosen by the authorities in Kigali to be ambassador to Belgium.

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“It is unfortunate that the Belgian government seems to have capitulated to pressure from the DRC government and propaganda from negationist organisations and activists,” said Rwandan government spokesman Yolande Makolo.

“This does not bode well for our bilateral relations,” she added. A spokesman for Belgium’s foreign ministry said the matter would be dealt with “through diplomatic channels”.

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“This type of issue is settled through official channels”, he told AFP, adding, “We hope for calm and constructive relations with Rwanda”. DR Congo expelled Karega accusing Kigali of supporting the M23 rebel group, which took up arms again at the end of 2021.

Its resurgence has led to renewed tension between the DRC and Rwanda, which Kinshasa has accused of arming and actively supporting the rebellion, a charge corroborated by UN experts.

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Kigali denies the accusation. Belgium was the colonial power in both African countries, which gained independence in the early 1960s.

© Agence France-Presse

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