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    International

    Tanzania's President Visits Rwanda's Paul Kagame

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    Tanzania's President Visits Rwanda's Paul Kagame
    • August 5, 2021 • 3 years ago

    The newly elected president of the United Republic of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan has paid a visit to Rwanda's president, Paul Kagame. 

    This short visit which lasted for two days was commenced on Monday where Samia was received at Kigali International Airport by foreign affairs Minister, Vincent Birua. 

    ? Some Ugandans must be already mummarring given the fact that our dear Museveni receives every visitor himself at the airport rather than sending delegates.

    Museveni aside, later in the evening of that Monday, the first female president of Tanzania met his excellency Paul Kagame at a state banquet after which the two heads of state would spend the next days touring Rwanda.

    Samia and Kagame seated 1 million kms apart (just joking)
    Samia and Kagame seated 1 million kms apart (just joking)

    They toured mostly the industrialised areas of the East African nation such as the special economic zone (SEZ), in the capital Kigali which is subject to different economic regulations compared to other regions of Rwanda.

    This is where president Kagame showed off all the 120 different industries that the SEZ region has to offer which include the popular Volkswagen Rwanda and Mara Phones.

    Presidents Samia and Kagame stand next to a Volkswagen Teramont model
    Presidents Samia and Kagame stand next to a Volkswagen Teramont model 

    Now that this visit is over, what is the relationship between the two countries 

    Rwanda and Tanzania which were originally at war are now very welcoming to each other. Their bad blood ended in November 2015 when president John Magufuli had just won his first presidential term.

    Magufuli in the next year met with Rwanda's Paul Kagame and shook his hands at a public event at the Amahoro National Stadium in Rwanda during the annual remembrance of the 1994 genocide that left over 800,000 people dead

    Kagame shakes Magufuli's hand, 2016
    Kagame shakes Magufuli's hands, 2016

    Before making peace, former president of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete had spoilt relations with Rwanda in 2013 when he made remarks about Rwanda's supposed enemies.

    What did Kikwete say 

    The president had advised Rwanda to sit down and dialogue with the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR), an anti-Rwandan-government militia whose mission according to Kagame is to topple his government.

    The same group is said to have started and participated in the 1994 Rwanda genocide but is now based in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    The intentions of Kikwete's advice remain unknown but the head of state in Rwanda believed he was provoking the East African nation and this caused Rwanda to retaliate by imposing harsh economic restrictions on Tanzania such as high customs duty on all Tanzanian imports.

    Tanzania on the other hand also countered the actions of Rwanda and expelled several immigrants who lacked legal documentation of their stay in Tanzania. 

    Most of these immigrants from Rwanda had settled in Tanzania after managing to flee Rwanda during the 1994 unrest.

     

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