17 January 2013

Rwanda's Diplomat Disappears in Switzerland

A Rwandan diplomat in Switzerland has disappeared, officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minafet) confirmed yesterday.

First Counselor Alphonse Kayitayire had been recalled to Rwanda but disappeared from his work station in Switzerland, according to Patricia Muhongerwa, in charge of human resource at Minafet. Neither the Rwandan embassy in Switzerland nor Minafet could provide details on the whereabouts of Kayitayire, but sources at both offices confirmed that they are looking for him.

"He has never communicated on whether or when he would be coming back home," Muhongerwa, told The New Times in a telephone interview yesterday.

"Officially we have no information about his whereabouts but he is also not communicating," she added.

Media reports on Tuesday indicated that Kayitayire sent his office and apartment keys via mail to the Embassy of Rwanda in Geneva on January 9, and said he was out of reach.

The embassy confirmed receipt of the keys on January 10, 2013.

The diplomat was ordered back home in early December last year according to media reports but it remains unclear whether it was normal transfer.

The Rwandan embassy in Switzerland has also advised Rwandans living in Switzerland that Kayitayire no longer represents them.

"The embassy of the Republic of Rwanda in Switzerland informs the Rwandan community living in Switzerland that Mr. Alphonse Kayitayire no longer responds as a diplomat of the Embassy of Rwanda in Geneva," the communiqué advised in French.

Neither the Rwandan embassy in Switzerland nor Minafet website carried the communiqué but an employee at the embassy told The New Times in a telephone interview from Switzerland that the embassy indeed circulated the announcement among Rwandans living in the country.

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