Dec 7, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

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World leaders descend on Kigali for Commonwealth summit

A number of presidents and prime ministers arrived in Rwanda from around the world on Thursday for the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting in Kigali.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson flew in on Thursday and held a meeting President Paul Kagame on “existing partnerships between Rwanda and the UK, including the recent partnership on migration and economic development,” said the Rwandan presidency in a tweet criticizing asylum seekers, including legal setbacks.

Leaders of the 54th -strong group of mostly former British colonies are expected in Kigali on Thursday and Friday for the culmination of the Commonwealth Summit which started on Monday. Rwanda is a former German and Belgian colony but joined the Commonwealth in 2009.

More than 25 heads of government are already in Kigali, including Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Yow eri Museveni Uganda.

Read:Commonwealth aims to increase trade by $6.5 trillion in five years

Prince Charles is representing his mother, Queen Elizabeth, and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, arrived in Rwanda on Tuesday.

The royal couple visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial, where they laid a wreath and church and met survivors of the 1994 massacre at a reconciliation village in Eastern Province, where they live with some of the perpetrators.

They also held a meeting with President Kagame.

President Museveni, whose country is the only other regional state where the Incident about the reopened border between Gatuna and Katuna arrived. Common land borders have been closed for nearly three years following a freeze in Uganda-Rwanda relations.

Leaders will participate in panel discussions and deliver keynote speeches. He will also open a Canadian embassy in Kigali for PM Trudeau.

“It’s our first day at CHOGM2022 and we’re about to get to work. I have several meetings and events today – and I will report on all of them here. Keep up to date with the work we are doing for you, Canadians and the people across the Commonwealth,” he tweeted.

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly pointed to the influence of Russia and China on the continent , and said, “We can’t be naïve.”

“We need to make sure we have the diplomats on the ground with eyes and ears to hear what’s going on, to make sure we can play a positive role for Rwanda and the wider region,” she told reporters in Kigali shortly after landing her prime minister.

Read:Ramaphosa Skips CHOGM Amid Frosty Ties With Kigali

Also read: Commonwealth meeting finally starts in Kigali