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Rwanda: Gov’t Awaiting AU Decision On Libyan Assets

The New Times (Kigali)

Frank Kanyesigye

4 January 2012

The government will respect the decision by the African Union Heads of State Summit concerning the frozen Libyan assets in member states.

Deliberations on the fate of the frozen assets in various AU countries during the eight-month long conflict that brought a brutal end to Muammar Gaddafi’s 40-year rule will be one of the items on the agenda during the Summit that is slated from 23 to 30 this month in Addis Abba.

Speaking to The New Times yesterday, John Rwangombwa, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning said the forum would decide on the fate of the Libyan assets.

“Unfreezing Libya Assets will be something that will be decided between the AU and their new government,” he said.

The former Libyan government under the Libyan Africa Portfolio (LAP) had invested in Rwandatel as well as Laico Hotel, now Umubano Hotel.

Rwangombwa stated that Rwandatel is already under liquidation as the company was technically bankrupt with a lot of liabilities to sustain its business.

“Rwandatel has been dissolved, though we have been working with the Libyans to see what we can do about it,” he added.

Currently, the international auditing firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), is carrying out an evaluation exercise on the financial worth of Umubano Hotel as the government seeks to re-sell it.

According to Rosemary Mbabazi, the chairperson of the Board of the Directors of Soprotel Sarl, a government body managing the hotel, the auditing firm is finalising a report to determine the market value of the facility.

“We will get the final evaluation report of Umubano Hotel by the end of this month, and at the same time, we are receiving bidding proposals from investors who want to invest in the hotel,” she said.

Mbabazi noted the deadline for submission of bidding proposals to invest in the hotel located in Kacyiru, Gasabo District, is January 16.

The Finance Minister further said that during the AU Summit, they will agree with Libyans to either inject more money in Umubano Hotel, which they had initially failed to do or the government hands it to another investor.

Official recognition of the newly created Libyan government is expected to be announced at this month’s AU summit.

The AU first recognised the National Transitional Council, NTC, as representative of the Libyan people in the formation of a transitional government that will occupy the Libyan seat at the AU in September.

The United Nations and the European Union, both lifted sanctions against Libya after the country was liberated about three months ago.

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