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President Kagame Congratulates President Macron Upon Re-election

by Edmund Kagire
9:14 am

President Kagame and President Macron greet each other in Paris, May 2021. President Kagame has congratulated Macron upon re-election.

President Paul Kagame has sent a congratulatory tweet to French President Emmanuel Macron upon re-election to a second time in office. Macron secured 59% of the total votes cast to 41% of far-right opponent Marine Le Pen.

“Congratulations on your well-deserved re-election President @EmmanuelMacron. This is a testament to your visionary leadership that seeks to unite and not divide. Rwanda looks forward to even more and stronger partnerships between our people and nations,” President Kagame tweeted.

Relations between Rwanda and France have warmed up in the past couple of years as President Macron worked towards some of the long-lasting misunderstandings between Rwanda and France since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

In May last year, President Macron visited Rwanda on a two-day state visit, which he said would turn a new page in France-Rwanda relations. In Rwanda, President Macron visit the the Kigali Genocide Memorial site – the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi – where he laid a wreath to pay tribute to the victims.

In his address at the memorial, President Macron said that only survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi can forgive France for her historical and political responsibility in Rwanda.

“As I stand with humility and respect at your side on this day, I come to recognise the magnitude of our responsibilities.” President Macron said, ending years of frosty relations between the two countries, mainly linked to France’s role in the events in Rwanda before and after the genocide.

President Kagame hailed Macron for his groundbreaking effort and ‘powerful words’, which he said gave comfort to genocide survivors

“His words were something more valuable than an apology: they were the truth” President Kagame said, stressing that speaking the truth is risky. But you do it because it is right, even when it is costs you something and even when it is unpopular.

“Despite some loud noises and voices, President Macron took this step. Politically and morally, this was an act of tremendous courage.” President Kagame added at the time, as the two leaders opened up a new chapter of ties.

Earlier in 2019, President Macron established the Duclert Commission of Historians to investigate the role of France in Rwanda particularly from 1990, granting the commission led by Vincent Duclert to access former President Francois Mitterrand’s government’s archives on Rwanda, in a bid to answer the difficult questions and put an end political cases in French courts.

Following his re-election, the French leader acknowledged divisions in France after Le Pen’s anti-immigration party pulled off a historic run, garnering over 12 million votes.

Macron vowed to unite a divided France after the decisive victory against Le Pen, whose anti-immigration rhetoric appealed to a disgruntled section of the French population looking to upset the status quo.

Macron became the first French leader to win re-election in 20 years after initial projected results by Ipsos for France Televisions put him ahead of his rival in the heated race.


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