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CAR President Touadéra arrives in Rwanda for a four-day state visit

Thursday August 05 2021
CAR President Faustin Archange Touadera and Rwanda's Paul Kagame.

CAR President Faustin Archange Touadera is received by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda at the State House in Kigali on August 5, 2021. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA | NMG

By ANGE ILIZA

President Faustin-Archange Touadéra  of the Central African Republic arrived in Kigali on Thursday on a four-day State visit.

He was received by President Kagame at the presidency where the two Heads of state are expected to hold a closed-door meeting.

They will later hold bilateral talks with accompanying officials from the Central African Republic and Rwanda.

President Touadéra will visit various establishments in Rwanda, including the Campaign Against Genocide Museum, and the recently inaugurated million-dollar model village in Musanze district built for 144 families with a school and a health centre.

President Touadéra will also tour several conservation and ecotourism destinations before his departure on August 8.

CAR President Faustin Archange Touadera.

CAR President Faustin Archange Touadera inspects a guard of honour in Rwanda's capital Kigali on August 5, 2021. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA | NMG

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The last intra-country presidential visit was in October 2019 when President Kagame received an honorary award “Grand Croix de la Reconnaissance” on his visit to CAR. Both countries signed bilateral agreements concerning the areas of defence, mining and oil, investment promotion as well as a bilateral investment treaty.

The President pledged Rwanda’s sustained support to CAR as it strives to recover from years of political instability.

President Touadéra was sworn in for his second five-year term in March 2021. His visit follows the recent deployment of 700 troops to secure the main supply route connecting the capital Bangui to the border with Cameroon. Rwanda is the third largest peacekeeping contributor in CAR with more than 3,000 troops deployed in different parts of the central African country since 2014.

Rwandan soldiers have since 2016 provided protection for President Faustin-Archange Touadéra and other top government officials in CAR.

The last deployment was in December 2020 when troops were sent to quell election violence and protect peacekeepers in CAR’s presidential election in January 2021. They were, however, not constrained by UN rules of engagement.

They were sent under a bilateral agreement on defence signed between Rwanda and the Central African Republican.

Rwanda maintains two Infantry Battalions, a Mechanized Battle Group and a Level II Hospital in support of peacekeeping operations in CAR. Rwanda had earlier sent 1,267 troops to CAR serving under the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Central African Republic (Minusca).

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