Kigali: The President of DR Congo Joseph Kabila arrived in the Amahoro National Stadium at exactly 10am amid the loudest applause from the tens of thousands – compared the other leaders who arrived Monday morning.
There was applause and chanting as President Kabila stepped out of his convoy to move up the steps to join other Heads of State. Then as the cameras zoomed-in on him – showing him on the giant screen over-looking the stadium, there was more applause which prompted the Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo to say: “We welcome President Kabila again as we have missed him.”
The cameras continued zooming-in on other presidents who were often received with chanting and drumming. All this happened before the president-elect Paul Kagame arrived.
The Burundian leader Pierre Nkurunziza and Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan also received louder applause, as was Meles Zenawi.
All the leaders who had confirmed attendance were there including Pierre Nkurunziza (Burundi), Mwai Kibaki (Kenya), Francois Bozize (Central African Republic), Denis Sassou Nguesso (Congo-Brazzaville), Joseph Kabila (DR Congo), Blaise Compaoré (Burkina Faso), and Goodluck Jonathan (Nigeria).
Others are: Yayi Boni (Benin), Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (Ethiopia), Ali Bongo Ondimba (Gabon), Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia), Faure Gnassingbé (Togo), Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika (Malawi), and Rupiah Banda (Zambia).
Tanzanian PM Minzengo Pinda and Ugandan PM Prof. Apolo Nsibambi will represent their countries. His Majesty King Mswati III of Swaziland sent his Prime Minister as well. Algerian President Abedelaziz Bouteflika did not also make it but had been expected.
Other countries are represented by top delegations.
More applause was there when the National Instruments arrived amid tight security including the Constitution, Coat of Arms and Flag.
There was massive chanting as the inaugural president arrived at exact 10:22am.
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