The New Times (Kigali)

6 December 2012

Rwanda Is Safe, RDB Reassures Tourists

The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has moved to reassure tourists and the business community that it is safe to travel to all parts of the country.

This comes just days after the DR Congo-based FDLR militias staged two attacks in the Western and Northern provinces, killing one person in either incident, before fleeing back to the troubled neighbouring country.

"We would like to reassure visitors that it is business as usual at all our tourism destinations. Travelers to Rwanda continue to enjoy the magnificent scenery, pleasant climate, rich culture and diverse wildlife in our national parks, including the rare mountain gorillas," Clare Akamanzi, acting CEO, RDB, said in a statement.

"The situation in Eastern DRC has resulted in two isolated skirmishes on Rwandan territory which were rapidly contained and border security has been reinforced to prevent recurrence," the statement added.

Akamanzi said the Government "guarantees peace and security in all tourist destinations across the country".

She observed that the tourism sector has registered tremendous progress over the past years and continues to be the country's number one foreign exchange earner.

"While ecotourism remains the key attraction for visitors coming to the land of a thousand hills, we are working to increase conference and events tourism, a goal that will be facilitated by newly registered hotel investments such as Marriott, Radisson Blu and most recently Sheraton," Akamanzi added.

On Tuesday, the Minister of Defence James Kabarebe told the bicameral parliament that necessary measures had been taken to prevent renewed FDLR threat.

FDLR is a blacklisted terrorist organization whose members are largely blamed for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, which claimed the lives of more than a million people.

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