Rwanda and South Africa have pledged to normalise their diplomatic relations after years of dispute over mutual accusations of spying. The two states made the commitment during a visit by Rwandan Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister Vincent Biruta to Pretoria on Friday.
It is a new era between Rwanda and South Africa after the deterioration of their relations since 2014. The Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Vincent Biruta, and the South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, made a commitment on Friday, June 4, 2021, in Pretoria, to normalise their relations, after their exchanges.
« This meeting has been a long time coming. Today marks the beginning of a process that will lead to the full restoration and normalisation of diplomatic relations between our two countries, » Pandor said, adding: « Our countries are seeking progressive development outcomes, focused on entrenching democracy, inclusive development and economic growth.
For his part, the Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs, welcomed the openness of his counterpart, indicating that his country is in the process of improving relations. « A strong relationship can help us to address our challenges and differences. We cannot avoid challenges, but if we have a sincere relationship, we can exchange and find ways to address our challenges, » Vincent Biruta said. After their exchanges, the two ministers indicated that a commission will be set up to develop a roadmap for the normalisation of relations between the two countries.
As a reminder, relations between the two countries have cooled down significantly since Rwandan opponents who have taken refuge in South Africa were targeted by attacks. In 2014, the two states sent back diplomats amid accusations of espionage. Today, with this new course, these dark pages seem to have been turned.