July 30, 2019

Germany Replaces Diplomat Who Undermined President Kagame

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Dr Thomas Kurz is Germany’s new envoy in Kigali

Rwanda has approved a new envoy for Germany Dr Thomas Kurz, more than 4 months after the previous diplomat left in yet unclear circumstances.

A cabinet meeting chaired by President Kagame on Monday afternoon accepted Dr Kurz to replace Dr Peter Woeste, who had only been in Rwanda for two years.

A German newspaper reported in early April that Berlin’s envoy had left Rwanda after Kigali got wind of a controversial dossier he had written to his government about Rwanda’s officials, particularly President Kagame.

It emerged in the following days that indeed Dr Woeste had left on March 30. Rwanda’s State Minister in charge of East African Affairs, who is the junior foreign minister, Olivier Nduhungirehe told local media at the time that the envoy had made “inappropriate and abusive comments” on Kagame.

Nduhungirehe said Rwanda had written to German indicating it would no longer work with the envoy, and Berlin decided to recall him. The diplomat himself has not made any public comments.

It was the second time Germany had recalled its ambassador to Rwanda.

In 2008, Rwanda ordered the then German representative to leave after the arrest of Kigali’s former chief of protocol, Lt Col Rtd Rose Kabuye at an airport in Frankfurt.

The new envoy Dr Kurz has been the Charge d’Affaires at German’s embassy in Ankara, Turkey.

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