Germany ambassador to Rwanda, Peter Woeste, has been expelled from Rwanda. According to sources, this was after Rwanda’s intelligence services intercepted his e-mail criticising Rwanda’s dictatorship. Woeste had been posted to Rwanda in 2016 and had served for two years.
Dr Richard Sezibera, Rwanda’s minister of foreign affairs, confirmed the ambassador had left the country. In an interview with the state owned newspaper, The New Times, Sezibera said the Germany envoy was recalled by his own government after Kigali informed them about his ‘unacceptable behaviour’.
“We informed his government of the unacceptable behavior of the ambassador, gave them evidence of this behavior and requested them to take appropriate action. They decided to recall him before the end of his term,”
According to a popular Germany newspaper, Welt, Woeste had penned a dossier criticising the regime in Kigali, but the dossier, which was sent to Germany’s foreign office, was intercepted by Rwanda’s intelligence services.
Efforts to get a comment from the German Ambassador to Uganda, Dr Albrecht Conze, about his colleague, remained futile as he could not pick his calls. However, a security source privy to what transpired, revealed that the Woeste e-mail to the federal minister for foreign affairs, Heiko Maas, was critical on Kagame’s pursuit of those who were opposed to him. In his e-mail, the ambassador informed Maas of the several arrests of senior military and political officers
This is the second time Rwanda is expelling a German ambassador. In 2008, Rwanda ordered the German ambassador to leave the country and recalled its envoy in Berlin after the arrest of its chief of protocol Rtd Lt Col. Rose Kabuye at Frankfurt Airport. Kabuye was in Frankfurt to prepare for a visit by Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame who was on a tour of Europe.
Kabuye, Rwanda’s director of state protocol, was arrested by German police, who acted on a 2006 international warrant issued by France for her and eight other Rwandans for their alleged complicity in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Kagame visited Kabuye in Germany to reassure her of his support ahead of her possible trial in France.
France wanted to question Kabuye about a 1994 plane crash that killed the then President Juvenal Habyarimana. Habyarimana’s plane was hit by a missile and his death was the prelude to a rampage in which Hutu extremists slaughtered 800,000 Tutsis and some moderate Hutus. Kagame was the leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front that defeated the government’s Hutu militias to end the genocide.
Kagame has of recent been under sharp criticism from some of his close colleagues who have since fallen out with him over claims of personalising power and eliminating those he deems as serious opponents.