In November 2018 Rwanda said that its doors remained open for South African-based dissident Lt Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa to return to the country.
Ahead of the planned rapprochement meeting between South African and Rwandan Foreign Affairs officials, the South African International Relations and Co-operation Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, said that one of the points of discussion when the two countries meet will be possible talks on Gen Kayumba to return to Rwanda.
Ms Sisulu, who was set to meet her Rwandan counterpart Dr Richard Sezibera to follow up on the assignment given by Presidents Cyril Ramaphosa and Paul Kagame to normalise relations between the two countries, which broke down in March 2014, said the former Rwandan army chief of staff and ambassador to India has expressed willingness to negotiate his return to Rwanda.
The South African top diplomat was quoted by South African media as saying that she was ‘‘pleasantly surprised’’ to find that Lt Gen Nyamwasa, who fled to South Africa in 2010 after falling out with President Kagame, would be willing to negotiate with Kigali to resolve the matter of his return.
Gen Kayumba who is seen as an enemy to Kagame’s government declared in an interview with Zambian eNews Channel Africa declared that he and other desidents are ready to return to Rwanda in peaceful means.
“It will take me a lot of effort in the sense that, we are talking about peaceful means. When we talk about peace, you must be aware that it is along protracted process and that is what we are pursuing, It can take a short time just like it can take a long time but we are prepared to be in our country.”Nyamwasa said
Efforts to get a comment from the Rwandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs proved futile but Rwanda’s High Commissioner to South Africa Vincent Karega told The EastAfrican that while the ministry is more authorised to speak about the matter, the issue of talks between the Rwandan government and the dissident general have never been discussed.
“I don’t recall at any time when Rwanda said we need any negotiations; even South Africa did not suggest any but what was reported is the wish of Gen Kayumba to negotiate.
“But one would still need to know what is he willing to negotiate and with whom? For which national interest? As a former ambassador one morning he unilaterally decided to give up everything and go settle in RSA.”
“Should he need to return to Rwanda, the borders remain open for everyone,” Mr Karega told The EastAfrican.