In Kigali, this Thursday, August 5, Rwandan President Paul Kagame received his Central African counterpart Faustin-Archange Touadéra. Kigali is establishing itself more and more as the privileged partner of the CAR.
Has Paul Kagame become addicted to official visits? In just six weeks, the Rwandan president has received no less than nine visits from heads of state to Kigali. This Thursday August 5, it's the President of the Central African Republic (CAR), Faustin-Archange Touadéra, who visited Rwanda. This multiplication of official receptions shows to what extent Paul Kagame has become, de facto, the benchmark African president for all States feeling let down by France.
However, between Bangui and Kigali, relations have not always been that friendly. President Paul Kagame did not attend the investiture of Touadéra last March and preferred to send his Prime Minister. But the Central African president did not hold it against him. It must be said that, since last December, Rwanda has had reinforcement troops to help the CAR fight the rebellion. Rwanda has also deployed the first contingent of African peacekeepers to the Central African Republic.
A military support of which Kigali has the secret: as in Mozambique, the Rwandan troops acted quickly. Satisfactory for Faustin-Archange Touadéra, who did not fail to thank his counterpart yesterday: “We are very satisfied with the contribution, with the way in which the Rwandan contingent is working within the framework of Minusca, a force which is in great demand, highly requested by the Central African people, in view of their performance, the results obtained on the ground ”.
Kagame wins markets in CAR
Paul Kagame is establishing himself more and more as the safeguard of the region, at the military level: “We have been asked to provide more troops under the banner of the United Nations. We are always ready to do it because we can afford it and because we have been asked to do so. On the other hand, the troops deployed bilaterally are there in reinforcement, because one can intervene more quickly than the other ”, simply explained the Rwandan president.
To listen to the head of state of Rwanda, military cooperation between the two countries would therefore not be imposed by the UN, but an effort made by Kigali. However, sending troops there has another objective for Rwanda: to develop its investments in the Central African Republic. Kagame does not hide it besides. During their meeting yesterday, the two presidents signed several agreements in the transport and mining sectors. The CAR has unexploited deposits, which Kigali hopes to get its hands on.
In March, a joint venture was created between the Central African Office for Geological Research and Mining (Orgem) and the Rwandan company Equatorian Venture. The new company, called Oko Africa, is currently seeking to win the Central African markets for coltan and gold mining.
In addition, the two presidents initialed the agreement to resume commercial flights between Kigali and Bangui. Several infrastructure projects will also see the light of day in the Central African Republic, under the aegis of Rwandan partners. Paul Kagame skillfully advanced his pawns, and Faustin-Archange Touadéra does not seem reluctant to see his Rwandan counterpart become an essential partner.
By following the joint presidents press conference @PaulKagame et #Touadera, I saw two men resolutely committed to strengthening bilateral relations between the #Rwanda and #Central African. They have my full support. This #cooperation is good for the #RCA. pic.twitter.com/qy4YZNOZPC
- Christian G. Betty (@GazamBetty) August 5