Rwanda and France shake hands again

By Daily Maverick Legacy 1 December 2009

Rwanda and France have restored diplomatic relations after a three-year row over who was responsible for the 1994 genocide that killed some 800,000 people. The two cut ties after a French judge said Rwandan President Paul Kagame helped spark the genocide, and Rwanda accused France of arming the Hutu militias that largely conducted it. The move comes at the same time as Rwanda joins the Commonwealth to take advantage of economic, political and cultural opportunities offered by the grouping, despite not having a British colonial past. Rwanda recently made a decision to become an Anglophone country, despite once being German and Belgian colonies and French being widely spoken. Rwanda has undergone a resurgence in fortunes in the past few years, with France, Britain, the US and China, among others, competing for strategic advantage in the mineral-rich Great Lakes region that borders the chaotic eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Read more: BBC, BBC, BBC

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