Diplomatic tension between South Africa and Rwanda escalates as Envoy is recalled

South Africa has recalled its envoy to Rwanda following diplomatic tensions between Pretoria and Kigali after a recent assassination attempt on an exiled Rwandan army general in Johannesburg. As the Rwandan government is fast being turned into a rogue regime it has become  increasingly intolerant of any dissent. Since the attempt on General Kayumba Nyamwasa, there have been tensions between the two countries, but they have been handled quietly. There have been some sort of quiet diplomacy. South Africa took exception to the fact that an attempt would be made on a former senior member of the Rwandan regime who had sought refuge in the country. Five people have so far been charged in South Africa for the assassination attempt on the former Rwandan envoy.

General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa was a former Rwandan ambassador to India. He fell out with the Rwandan administration after he was linked with grenade attacks in Kigali. The former envoy sought asylum in South Africa after fleeing Rwanda. But, Martin Ngoga, Rwanda’s chief prosecutor, accused the former envoy of terrorism and threatening state security and began proceedings to extradite him.

Kagame has accused the former envoy of fleeing justice from Rwanda. This is a  a charge Nyamwasa denies. The Rwandan administration is known to often use state institutions and resources to harass and intimidate opponents. The potential assassins were arrested within 24 hours. The rumour on the street was that they were all Rwandans. An official of the South African Foreign Ministry said that, despite the recall of the envoy to Rwanda, Pretoria has not totally broken diplomatic relations with the East African country. It seems president Kagame has lost all credibility on the world stage as he was looked upon as a promising leader who sought good governance in his country.

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