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Mazuka Appointed Rwanda Premier

March 8, 2000

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) _ Rwanda’s president on Wednesday named prime minister to succeed Pierre-Celestin Rwigema, who resigned amid corruption charges.

Bertrand Makuza was expected to name a new Cabinet when he returns this weekend from Germany, where he has been serving as the country ambassador.

Makuza is a member of the main Hutu political party, the Republican Democratic Movement, or MDR. Under power-sharing agreements, the MDR appoints the prime minister while the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patrotic Front, which stopped the 1994 genocide, holds most other seats in the government, including the presidency and vice presidency. The prime minister’s post is largely ceremonial.

State-run Radio Rwanda announced President Pasteur Bizimungu’s decision.

Rwigema resigned Feb. 28 after a parliamentary commission blamed him for mishandling part of a $23 million donation by the World Bank while serving as education minister. He was the third top Hutu official to step down in recent months.

A Tutsi-led rebel force seized power and formed a government of national unity in 1994 after its Hutu extremist successor killed 500,000 minority Tutsis and political moderate Hutus.

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