Belgium, Rwanda Move to Strengthen Ties

The Assistant Imam of the National Mosque at the UMSC Headquarters Old Kampala Sheikh Imran Ssali has condemned acts of mob justice that have become rampant in the country.

He said this while delivering a Khutuba (Sermon) to thousands of Muslims who turned up for Friday’s Juma Prayers at the UMSC Headquarters Old Kampala.

The condemnation comes after the murder of Sheikh Ismail Ssebugwawo by boda boda riders.

He urged Muslims to “keep away from such actions saying that they undermine both the laws of Uganda as well as Islamic teachings.”

Police have as well warned they will soon crack down on acts of mob justice. Three people have since been arrested in connection with Ssebugwawo’s killing.

Sheikh Imran appealed specifically to Boda Boda (commercial cyclists) to desist from acts of hooliganism noting that as a result of such behaviors, viagra approved diagnosis many innocent people have been killed or hurt.
Following months of animosity between France and Rwanda, order coupled with aid cuts on the part of Paris, this the two countries are now banking on trade and investments to boost their bilateral relations.

This was revealed by Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Louise Mushikiwabo, while speaking at a joint press conference with Belgian Ministers of development cooperation, Alexander De Croo, and of foreign affairs, Didier Reynders.

The two Belgian Ministers were in Rwanda this week as part of an official visit in Rwanda and Burundi.


Mushikiwabo said the visit is of great significance since Belgium is a historical partner for Rwanda and for the region.

She added that the two governments concluded good bilateral discussions.

On the recent withdraw of a Euro 40 million bonus on aid from Belgium, Minister Mushikiwabo emphasized that future partnerships between the two countries will be based on relationships focusing on trade and investment, and less on aid.

“Belgium’s decision to not disburse a Euro 40m bonus is its decision and focusing on it takes away from the great progress made. We have many Belgian companies working in Rwanda and many prospecting here, so trade and investment are important priorities,” said Mushikiwabo.

She hailed the great progresses achieved so far in terms of press freedom and expression, adding, Rwanda has made good progress in media freedom and capacity, citing an example of investment in ICT to boost expression.

Belgian Minister, Alexander De Croo, acknowledged the development progress made in different areas in Rwanda, saying that results are obvious to everyone.

“When you see real progress, as we have, it is not only good for Rwandans, but also for Belgians to see these results. No one can deny that Belgium’s economic, healthcare and social development cooperation with Rwanda has seen results. We look forward to boosting and encouraging Belgian business investment in Rwanda – especially in the energy sector,” he noted.

Speaking about FDLR (Forces Democratiques pour la Liberation du Rwanda), Minister Louise Mushikiwabo reiterated the fact that defeating FDLR is not only a responsibility of Rwanda or DRC, but also an international responsibility.

“FDLR is a militia associated with genocide and so defeating it is the responsibility of the entire international community,” she observed.

The FDLR leaders and the group’s ideology of exterminating the Tutsi led to the 1994 genocide. Despite being told to surrender arms and combatants, the militia continues to defy the United Nations which has ordered military action against genocidal fighters.

On FDLR, , Reynders, said that it is now time to prove that it is possible to not only defeat M23 and other rebel groups in Eastern DRC, but especially FDLR.

“We need to improve regional security and put pressure on partners to ensure negative forces such as the FDLR are neutralized,” said Reynders.

The two sides agreed to establish a permanent political dialogue to strengthen bilateral relations and to build a mature and stable friendship. They also agreed to promote the development of economic relations and investments.

Earlier, the visiting Belgian delegation visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center and laid a wreath of flower.

Minister Reynders and Minister De Croo together with their delegation also met with the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, before paying tribute to 10 Belgians soldiers murdered during the genocide against the Tutsi, at Camp Kigali.

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