SA clarifies developments in SA, Rwanda relations

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Pretoria – Government says there have been sustained and organised efforts to kill some of the Rwandan refugees living in South Africa.

“It is clear that these incidents directly link to tensions emanating from Rwanda and are acted upon within our borders,” said spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation Clayson Monyela on Saturday.

In June 2010, there was an attack on the life of General Kayumba Nyamwasa, an asylum seeker and former Rwanda Army General. There was another attack on General Nyamwasa on 4 March. There was also an incident that led to the murder of the former Rwanda Intelligence Chief, Colonel Patrick Karegyeya, on 31 December 2013.

Pretoria expelled four diplomats from Rwanda and one from Burundi regarding the attacks on South African soil.

Monyela explained that as part of the continued monitoring of the security situation in the country, government had established that there were organised criminal networks whose activities sought to undermine national security. 

“These have been coordinated and facilitated by some individuals who abused their diplomatic and refugee status granted in terms of international laws and protocols. It is for these reasons that South Africa expelled four Rwandan diplomats and one from Burundi for violating their status.”

Monyela said the action was targeted only those who violated the Vienna Convention, Article 41 and South Africa’s Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act.

He said government regretted that the Rwandan government reciprocated disproportionately by expelling all South African diplomats except for the Ambassador.

This has made the work of the South African mission in Rwanda difficult as it cannot discharge its services.

The Ambassador of Rwanda, the Millitary Attache and other functionaries in the Rwanda Diplomatic Mission in Pretoria are in place and functioning normally.

“The South African government sends a stern warning that action will be taken against any individual or group that abuses the human rights dispensation of the Republic. In doing so, we remain steadfast in ensuring that our territory is not used as a launching pad for any form of attack including terrorist activities against any member of the international community,” said Monyela.

He added that government would continue to act against those who abused relations and diplomatic immunities and privileges.

South Africa appreciated the understanding and cooperation received from the Government of Burundi and was committed to sustaining the collaboration with a view to get to the bottom of the matter.

Monyela assured South Africa that the stability of the state would be paramount in efforts aimed at ensuring that people are and do feel safe. –

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