Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and General Paul Kagame of Rwanda are in Japan where they are taking part in the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), an event held every five years since 1993. They are among the heads of state and officials from Africa invited to the event by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The event is believed to be the biggest African development event outside the continent.
Jakaya Kikwete and Shinzo Abe, at Shinzo Abe’s Official Residence in Tokyo.
The two African heads of states met, a week after the Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete urged President Paul Kagame to hold direct talks with his armed rebellion in order to bring peace in the Great Lakes region (see here). The position of the Tanzanian President has irked Rwandan leaders, to the point that Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo and Defense Minister, James Kabarebe, publicly cursed the Tanzanian President and called him a sympathizer of “genociaires”, a “genocide denier”, and other names.
“Jakaya Kikwete is a Four Bs”, Kagame tells his closest aides
It is not known whether General Paul Kagame will meet Jakaya Kikwete in a one-on-one or a mediated venue. According to sources within the Rwandan Presidency, when General Paul Kagame returned from Addis-Abeba after Jakaya Kikwete’s comments, he was livid. He called an urgent brief intelligence services meeting and told the participants that Jakaya Kikwete is a “Four Bs”, which he said in Kinyarwanda meant “an opportunist, attention seeker , arrogant and contemptible person.” Contrary to his habit, he dismissed the participants to meeting after 15 minutes and went directly to bed.
Before leaving for Japan, he once again held a meeting with his intelligence services and top military leaders and told them the following: “Now, after the betrayal by the Tanzanian Four Bs, it is clear that, like orphaned kids, we are on our own. I am traveling, and when I return I want you to present me with a plan on how we will get out of this severe situation.” When he asked whether anyone had anything to add, everyone looked down. He dismissed the meeting after a few minutes and headed to his private jet, that he rents out to the Rwandan Government.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vs Chinese President Xi JinPing
During the Ticad V meeting today, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged ¥ 3.2 trillion or $31.9 billion for African Development. Japan is trying to catch up with China. Contrary to Shinzo Abe who has never visited Africa since he took office in December 2012, Chinese President Xi JinPing has already visited three countries: South Africa, Congo, and Tanzania.
President Xi JinPing also pledged $20 billion in loans over the next two years and China built the African Union Headquarters in Addid Ababa, Ethiopia, valued at $200 million
The conference is being held in Yokohama City and will last three days. The Tanzanian President is expected in Dar-Es-Salaam on Sunday evening June 2, 2013. Upon his return, he will be faced with two pressing matters: addressing the contempt of his small neighbor, the Rwandan General Paul Kagame and start preparing for the visit of the most powerful man in the World, US President Barack Obama.
Jaka Kikwete, the Star of TICAD V
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete was a star at the Ticad V. He and South African President Jacob Zuma were received with the highest honors by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He was the first to be received at the Prime Minister ‘s official residence in Tokyo on May 30, 2013.
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