Rwandan President Paul Kagame will be Wednesday and Thursday, May 24 in Paris. It’s been three years since he returned to France. Officially, he will be in the French capital to participate in Viva Techno, an international meeting devoted to digital.
The Rwandan president will also meet, on Wednesday, face to face with French President Emmanuel Macron, a sign of a warming of relations between the two countries while tensions have persisted between Paris and Kigali since 1994 and the genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda.
If the two presidents walk together on Thursday morning at Viva Techno, the highlight will be the day before. On Wednesday, after a luncheon with the French president and leading digital players, Paul Kagame will meet face to face with Emmanuel Macron for the fourth time in eight months according to RFI.
Sign that Paris wants to accelerate the rapprochement with Kigali, the meeting will take place this time at the Élysée Palace where the Rwandan president has not set foot since September 2011.
In this case, the French strategy is clear. The idea, in fact, is to rely on his position as President of the African Union (AU) to establish new relations with Paul Kagame.
“We prefer to talk about topics that bring us together and not subjects that separate us”, repeated by the entourage of the French head of state.
The AU Chairman-in-Office is carrying two reforms of interest to Paris, the one on financing peacekeeping operations and the one on the African Union. Topics that should be discussed on Wednesday during this bilateral meeting.
The two presidents should also mention the possible candidacy of Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs, at the head of the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF). This candidature, according to Jeune Afrique, would be favorably viewed by the Elysée, an information that the entourage of the French president does not deny.