Prince Charles touches down in Kigali in first ever royal visit to Rwanda ahead of Commonwealth meeting where he will represent the Queen
- Prince Charles has arrived for a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
- He arrived with wife Camilla aboard the ministerial jet RAF voyager this evening
- Arrival comes days after he had privately condemned UK’s Rwanda asylum plan
- Royal faces potentially awkward meeting with Boris Johnson following remarks
Prince Charles has become the first member of the Royal Family to set foot in Rwanda after touching down in Kigali.
The Duke of Wales, alongside wife Camilla, has flown to the African country to represent the Queen at a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) – the first such gathering since he was chosen to inherit her position as head of the global ‘family of nations’ in April 2018.
His arrival comes days after he The Mail revealed that he had privately condemned the UK’s Rwands asylum plan, saying that giving Channel migrants a one-way ticket to Africa was ‘appalling’.
The royal faces potentially awkward meeting with Boris Johnson following the revelations, while he is also understood to be anxious that the remarks may overshadow the trip.
Clarence House has declined to comment on the ‘supposed anonymous private conversations except to restate that he remains politically neutral. Matters of policy are decisions for government’.
Charles and Camilla arrived in the capital Kigali aboard the ministerial jet RAF voyager and there were a small group of dignitaries waiting to greet them.
At the steps of the plane was the UK’s High Commissioner to Rwanda Omar Daair, Rwanda’s High Commissioner to the UK Johnston Busingye, Chogm special advisor Yamina Karitanyi and the Prime Minister’s special representative on the Commonwealth Lord Ahmad.
The Duke and Duchess of Wales pictured stepping off the ministerial jet RAF voyager as they touched down in Kigali, Rwanda, for their visit to the country and to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
Charles met Special Advisor Ambassador Yamina Kritanyi shortly after stepping off the plane this evening
The Duke also spoke with Johnston Busingye, Rwanda Ambassador to the UK, as he was greeted by dignitaries
Ahead of Chogm, the Duke hailed the potential of the Commonwealth to make a difference on issues like climate change or providing opportunities for young people.
He said: ‘Taking shared responsibility to solve problems like these means the Commonwealth has the potential to make a profound difference in the lives of its citizens – and, in so doing, to be an unparalleled force for good in our world.’
The future king will carry out a full day of engagements on Wednesday, when he will meet survivors and perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide.
In 1994, hundreds of thousands of members of the Tutsi community were slaughtered in Rwanda by ethnic Hutu extremists.
The issue of genocide and reconciliation is said to be very close to the Charles’ heart and he will visit a village that was targeted.
The trip will be the first royal visit to Rwanda – one of a minority of the world’s nations the Queen has not visited.
Her son has been encouraged by former Rwandan footballer Eric Murangwa to visit a church outside the capital where the remains of tens of thousands of genocide victims are buried.
His arrival comes days after he The Mail revealed that he had privately condemned the UK’s Rwands asylum plan
Mr Murangwa was sheltered from the killings by teammates, and Charles made him an MBE in recognition of his efforts raising awareness of the genocide against the Tutsi. He is the founder of the organisation Football For Hope, Peace And Unity.
In April, Mr Murangwa was invited to watch as the prince planted a tree at Dumfries House in commemoration of the genocide victims.
Chogm will take place in Kigali following its postponement in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid crisis.
Charles last represented the Queen at the event in Sri Lanka in 2013 – a move that was interpreted as preparation for his future role as monarch – and in 2018 he was appointed the monarch’s designated successor as head of the Commonwealth.
The event, which is usually held in a different country every two years, brings together leaders from the 54 Commonwealth nations.
Source: Read Full Article