Rwanda Foreign Affairs Minister Speaking on Genocide Denial at Atlantic Council

Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, will make a public address on her country’s controversial genocide denial law and other issues at the Atlantic Council (1101 15th Street NW) from 4:30 to 6 pm Tuesday July 20.

Rwanda’s Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, will accompany Mushikiwabo and make brief remarks on the May 28 arrest of American lawyer Peter Erlinder on genocide denial charges for his role in representing opposition candidate Victoire Ingabire against similar charges.

Mushikiwabo’s visit to Washington comes shortly before Rwanda’s national elections on August 9. Their outcome is important to not only stability and continued economic growth in Rwanda but also the security of the wider Central Africa region. Sixteen years after the 1994 genocide, Rwanda continues to tread the delicate line between recovery and developing a democratic system while still needing to ensure that a genocidal politics does not again take root in the country. 

“The Atlantic Community has had long history of dealing with genocide denial issues related to the Third Reich,” said Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe. “It is appropriate that our new Michael S. Ansari Africa Center will host this discussion.”

Mushikiwabo previously served as the Minister of Information in the Government of Rwanda. She was a key driver in Rwanda’s membership of the Commonwealth and the re-opening of diplomatic relations with France. She lived in the United States for over 20 years, then briefly in Tunisia, before joining the Rwandan Cabinet in March 2008. She is the co-author of ‘Rwanda Means the Universe’ (St. Martin’s Press, 2006) an intergenerational socio-historical memoir and she has contributed many articles to newspapers and magazines. She is the recipient of the 2004 Outstanding Humanitarian Award from American University’s School of International Studies. 

The event will be on the record, with the short formal remarks followed by a question and answer session. 

Interested press should contact Mary Micevych at [email protected] or 202-778-4993.  Space is limited.  Only confirmed press will be admitted.