South Africa is recalling its ambassador to Rwanda for consultations following shootings of former Rwandan army chief of staff, General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa in Johannesburg.
International Relations and Co-operation Director General Ayanda Ntsaluba confirmed that Ambassador Gladstone Dumisani Gwadiso has been recalled. Ntsaluba stressed that the recall must not be seen as an intention to break the relations between the two countries.
“This will not affect ties between the two countries. We have no intention of expelling the Rwanda ambassador…,” Ntsaluba told a media briefing.
Ntsaluba added that they were in consultations with the Rwandan government to find common ground and to better understand the situation as a means to address tensions between the two countries. The consultations will see how they can work better on their relations, said Ntsaluba, adding that the presence of some of Rwandan officials has had an impact on the relations.
“We are not making any connections by recalling our ambassador …we are also not making any connection between the government of Rwanda and the shooting of the general.”
Ntsaluba said that the government was waiting for Gwadiso to give a clear indication of what is happening in Rwanda where voters are headed for the polls on 9 August for just the second time since the 1994 genocide.
Opponents and civil rights groups have criticised President Paul Kagame for tightening the noose on any dissident voice ahead of the election, including the media, but the authorities have dismissed the accusations as unfounded and the result of a smear campaign.