It was announced that Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda have agreed a joint tourist visa, opening up all three countries to visitors, much like the Schengen visa system in Europe. Sadly the visa does not yet include Tanzania, which means visitors will now have to pay extra for the Tanzanian leg of their East African safari, but hopefully this will change in the due course.
Sexual violence has been a central feature of the conflicts that have raged through the region for decades. Thousands of men, women and children are affected each year in activities that constitute war crimes under the Geneva Conventions.
The virtues of forgiveness in many different contexts of life are manifold and well known. Forgiveness can encourage and enable healing, peaceful relations, improved individual and social welfare, and psychological well being. But forgiveness is a personal choice and it must not be coerced, whether implicitly or explicitly. It is not a panacea.
Last Friday, Women for Women International opened its landmark Women's Opportunity Centre in Kayonza district, Rwanda. The WOC will serve as a centre of excellence and innovation supporting women's economic and social development in the region through training, employment, and business opportunities.
This weekend in Rwanda's Virunga National Park, communities will gather to give names to the 12 mountain gorillas born in the last year. It may seem strange to name gorillas but for Rwandans, the ceremony we call Kwita Izina is both a celebration of a conservation success and a focal point for the country's commitment to preserving our environment.
Some places almost never get the attention they deserve. One of these is the Democratic Republic of Congo. A vast country of some 80 million people, at the heart of Africa. It has struggled since independence in 1960 with a poor colonial legacy, cold war manipulations, venal and incompetent governments, and a succession of wars.
As the 19th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide approaches in April, this report by the Task Force on the EU Prevention of Mass Atrocities has been issued at a critical time. Survivors of the Rwandan genocide who were failed enormously by the EU are demanding and deserve redress as an urgent matter of justice which has gone unaddressed for far too long.
While the M23 rebels - who mutinied from the Congolese army last May - remain within striking distance of the key border town of Goma, the regional and international diplomatic wrangling goes on. Fractious peace talks between the rebel leaders and the Congolese government in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, will resume on 4 January.
The Rwandan authorities must take these allegations seriously. They have an obligation under Rwandan and international law to investigate and prosecute those thought to be responsible. Doing so will be an important step towards justice for victims and reduce the risk of such abuses happening again. It will also help to restore the confidence of donor countries that are increasingly concerned by human rights abuses committed by the Rwandan military in DRC and now in Rwanda itself.