Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Rwanda: Financial Times' interview with Pres. Kagame

If you get the chance, read the full Financial Times article on their interview with President Paul Kagame. In the meantime, here's what I found interesting.

No surprise, Kagame believes he's going to win. What really interested me was his response to questions about Rwanda's role in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
... Kagame said he had asked the country's prosecutor-general to investigate United Nations reports that his army orchestrated the plunder of resources during its four-year occupation of eastern Congo.

... "We are not responsible for the problems of the Congo," he says, insisting that turmoil and dictatorship there had been claiming lives long before his troops marched over the border in 1998, sparking a war that has led to at least 3m deaths.

"We would not shy away from moving back to Congo if anything threatened our security here. We are not even apologetic about it."

Nor is Gen Kagame concerned that by punching well beyond its weight in the region, tiny Rwanda may have made more new enemies in Congo than it has eliminated old ones. The region's problems go back decades, he says, underlining that parts of Congo were ruled from Rwanda before Africa's borders were drawn by colonial powers.
Kagame was questioned about allegations, made by an opposition candidate Faustin Twagiramungu, of harrassment during the campain leading up to next week's presidential elections. Not surprisingly, he dismissed all those charges.

Here is an earlier post chronicling the allegations and rebuttals. At the end of that post, is a link to an even earlier post. Keep following the bread crumbs!