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Rwanda

Kagame's inauguration is dignitaries’ meeting ground

Photo: Martin H

Rwandan president Paul Kagame is due to be sworn in for another seven-year term at a huge ceremony in the capital Kigali Monday. 

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The Amahoro stadium where Kagame will be sworn in is at full capacity with an estimated 40,000 people inside since early Monday morning awaiting the ceremony. Thousands of others set to follow the event on giant screens outside the stadium

Public buildings across the capital have been repainted especially for the ceremony.

Tens of thousands of Rwandans and ten African heads of state, including neighbouring DR Congo’s Joseph Kabila and Kenya’s Mwai Kibaki are expected to attend the inauguration.

Kibaki will also attend a Heads of State and Government Consultative Forum on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

Joseph Kabila’s attendance at the ceremony is a sign of reconciliation between Rwanda and DRC. Ties between the two countries have long been strained owing to the presence of Hutu rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) in the DRC.

International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo sent his deputy, Fatou Bensouda of the Gambia, to the event. 

Moreno-Ocampo said he hopes the visit to Kigali will encourage African leaders to support the court's efforts to hold Sudan's President Omar el-Beshir and other alleged criminals accountable.

Kagame will address the audience at the stadium and the nation in a speech after taking an oath in front of the judges of the Supreme Court.

Kagame won 93 per cent of the vote in the 9 August presidential polls for which his government was accused of excluding the real opposition.

His supporters say he has brought stability and growth since the country's 1994 genocide.

The election was only the second presidential election since 1994, and five million Rwandans were registered to vote. 

 

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