11 January 2016

Rwanda: Central African Republic Delegation On a 'Benchmarking' Visit

A delegation from Central African Republic is expected to arrive in the country this afternoon for a weeklong benchmarking trip aimed at giving them insights to Rwanda's post Genocide recovery process.

The 21-person delegation is comprised of top officials in government, civil society, religious leaders, academics and members of the media.

CAR has for a period spanning two years, been mired in a conflict that borders mainly along ethnic lines pitting Christians and Muslims.

Thousands of people have been killed while about a million others displaced and property looted and destroyed.

The weeklong visit follows a previous one to Central African Republic by a Rwandan delegation led by the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission to share experience on the reconciliation and recovery process following the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The visit will be coordinated by Aegis Trust, which has been working in CAR for close to a year at the invitation of the CAR government and civil society.

Didier Rutagungira, the Aegis Trust Communications Officer told The New Times that the benchmarking visit was also informed by Rwanda's role in supporting CAR through their peace and recovery process.

"This is a follow up visit and participation of Rwanda in maintaining and supporting the sustainable peace in CAR. Aegis Trust has been working in CAR since last year offering support in peace education," he said.

The mission will be led by Dr Clément-Anicet Guiyama-Massogo, a policy advisor and spokesperson in the presidency.

Rwanda was the first country to deploy a Police contingent in CAR in 2014 where Rwanda Defence Forces deployed 850 officers as part of the initial African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA).

Rwandan troops have been widely hailed for a job well done in returning peace and tranquillity to the country.

Beyond bringing calm in areas they control in Bangui the troops have been entrusted to guard strategic points in the city, including the presidential palace, and the Pope during his recent visit to the country.

In an effort to bring sustainable peace to the country, a presidential election was held late last month but with no outright winner, a run-off is expected to be held on January 31.

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