RWANDA President Paul Kagame has condemned last month’s attacks on leaders in Zimbabwe and Ethiopia and paid tribute to the victims.
Addressing the 31st African Union Heads of State and Government Summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania on Sunday, Kagame said the continental block stands with the countries affected by the attacks.
“As a Union, we stand with the peoples of Ethiopia and Zimbabwe in their pursuit of peaceful political change. We condemn the violent attacks and convey our condolences for the lives that have been lost,” Kagame said.
Last month, an explosive device was detonated at a Zanu-PF rally in White City Stadium in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and a deadly blast occurred at a rally in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
In the Zimbabwean attack, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had been addressing the crowds, escaped unharmed, but Vice President Kembo Mohadi was injured in the leg and taken to a local hospital.
At least 15 people were injured, three seriously, and some lost limbs in the explosion, according to Zimbabwe’s Health Minister David Parirenyatwa.
In Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian Health Minister announced two people died in the blast, while more than 150 people were injured.
On a positive note,however, President Kagame paid tribute to the tremendous progress in restoring peace and relations in Ethiopia, Eritrea and South Sudan.
“We are heartened by the strides made by the leadership of Eritrea and Ethiopia toward the normalisation of relations. You have the African Union’s unwavering support,” Kagame said.
“I also wish to acknowledge the encouraging steps in the South Sudan peace process, thanks to the mediation of the IGAD-mandated Heads of State. The African Union expects the parties to fully abide by the agreements.”
For President Kagame, “These positive developments remind us that partnership is the common thread in this Summit’s deliberations. Partnership amongst ourselves, first of all.”