SA/RWANDA JOINT COMMUNIQUE
1. At the invitation of His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, His Excellency Thabo Mbeki, President of the Republic of South Africa, paid a two-day State Visit to Rwanda from 18-19 October 2000.
2. President Thabo Mbeki was accompanied by a high level delegation including Ministers and other high-ranking Government Officials, as well as Senior Managers of Parastatal Organisations.
3. President Thabo Mbeki addressed the National Conference on Unity and Reconciliation and commended the achievements of the Government and People of Rwanda in the areas of reconstruction and national reconciliation after the 1994 genocide. He particularly emphasised that the tragedy which befell Rwanda and the subsequent efforts by the Government of Rwanda to promote unity and reconciliation should serve as a lesson to our region and the entire world.
4. Considering the challenging legacies of apartheid in South Africa and genocide in Rwanda, the two Heads of State recognised the necessity for both countries to learn from each other's experiences.
5. The two Heads of State held fruitful discussions on a wide range of issues of bilateral, regional and international interest in a warm and cordial atmosphere.
6. At the bilateral level, the two Presidents reviewed matters of mutual interest and expressed satisfaction with excellent relations existing between their two countries. They reiterated their determination to strengthen them further. In this respect, they recommitted themselves to foster ever-closer economic co-operation between the two countries, particularly in the areas of human resource development, agriculture and livestock, energy, water, gas development, railways, airlines and other infrastructure such as the proposed Great Lakes Corridor. The government departments concerned were called upon to accelerate implementation of these projects.
7. The two Presidents witnessed the signing of four bilateral Agreements namely:
* The Agreement for the establishment of a Permanent Joint Commission of Co-operation
* The Agreement for the reciprocal promotion and protection of investments
* The Agreement on co-operation in Agriculture
* The Agreement on co-operation in Education
8. The two Heads of State emphasised the need to convene the first session of the Permanent Joint Commission as soon as possible.
9. At the regional level, the two Heads of State reviewed the security situation in Africa and pledged to work together in search for a just and lasting peace in the region. They reaffirmed their commitments to and faith in, the sub regional and OAU efforts in resolving Africa's political problems in an African framework.
10. On the Democratic Republic of Congo, in particular, the two Leaders reiterated their commitment to the Lusaka Cease-fire Agreement and pledged to continue working together for its full implementation. The two Presidents however expressed concern about recent cease-fire violations and called upon all parties to the conflict to show restraint and respect of the Lusaka Cease-fire Agreement to which they are all signatories, and in line with the Maputo Declaration.
11. On Burundi, the two Leaders expressed satisfaction with the progress made so far and reaffirmed their commitment to work closely with other leaders in the sub region and the OAU so that a Cease-fire Agreement is signed and implemented within the shortest possible time. They commended the efforts and able facilitation of former President Nelson Mandela and urged all parties to the conflict to continue dialogue and work towards a peaceful solution.
12. At the International level, the two Heads of State agreed to establish close working relations with the view of harmonising their positions on matters of mutual interest especially towards consolidating peace and stability in Africa and working for regional economic, social and political co-operation.
13. President Thabo Mbeki visited Rubona Methane Gas Plant in Gisenyl Prefecture and Murambi Genocide Memorial Site in Gikongoro Prefecture.
14. At the end of the visit, His Excellency Thabo Mbeki expressed appreciation for the warm and brotherly hospitality accorded to him and his delegation by the Government and People of Rwanda during their stay in the country. He extended an invitation to President Paul Kagame to pay a return visit to the Republic of South Africa. His Excellency Paul Kagame gladly accepted the invitation. The dates will be communicated through diplomatic channels.
Done at Kigali on this 19th day of October, 2000
Issued by: Department of Foreign Affairs, 19 October 2000