Twenty-nine years after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that claimed over a million lives in just 100 days, President Paul Kagame has assured that the atrocity will never happen again, not only in the current but also in future generations.
1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that claimed over a million lives in just 100 days, President Paul Kagame has assured that the atrocity will never happen again, not only in the current but also in future generations.
The vow, Kagame warned, stands even if it requires fighting with bows, arrows as well as spears and stones.
Kagame pointed to the assurance during an interview with Jeune Afrique’s François Soudan, in which the head of state discussed a wide range of subjects including the DR Congo crisis, relations with neighbouring countries, and peacekeeping missions.
Reacting to whether the situation in eastern DRC was worse than ever, Kagame said that the same region has been in a state of almost permanent instability since 1994.
At that time, he said, describing it as context, nearly two million Rwandans fled the country to take refuge there, the majority of whom have since returned.
But a minority have stayed behind, which he said is still a factor of insecurity for Rwanda, today.
The same factor has been raised by both the United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) condemning the continued alliance between the DR Congo army (FARDC) and the genocidal force, FDRL.
The FDLR, which “harbours a long-term sinister plan to destabilise Rwanda”, comprises remnants of the perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
In addition to this, Kagame said, there are about 100 Congolese armed groups operating in the region, most of which are self-defence militias formed on an ethnic basis.
This, he asserted, is despite the UN, for more than two decades, spending billions of dollars to maintain a force that is supposed to stabilise the two Kivus, with, as it is seen, derisory results, if any.
Since it was necessary to find someone to blame for this failure, Kagame told Jeune Afrique, Rwanda was made a scapegoat.
By and large, he added, it is a failure of the international community, but it is also a failure of Congolese officials, who are only too happy to find an excuse for their own inability.
While Rwanda is drawn to be part of the problem, Kagame argued that it cannot be the sole problem, describing it as dishonest and counterproductive.
As long as external powers and successive Congolese governments sing this refrain, Kagame believes that there will be no lasting solution to the ills that plague eastern DRC.
For the head of state, it is absolutely clear that the responsibility for this situation lies firstly with the Congolese authorities and, secondly, with the Western countries involved in the genesis of the problem.
For instance, he reiterated, how can it be explained that the FDLR it is still active 29 years after the Genocide, despite the continued presence of Monusco?
The same genocidal rebel group conducted another deadly attack in Kinigi, in the tourist district of Musanze, killing 14 civilians, before finding refuge on the Congolese side of the border.
Kagame added that the fact that Rwanda considers it her responsibility to eradicate these individuals wherever they are, with no one speaking out on what should and should not be done, in itself is a sign that Rwanda has a responsibility.
He went on to add that the fact that this will not happen is only the consequence of the powerlessness of those who had to do it in the first place.
He urged Congolese leaders and politicians to have the courage to look at the situation in the face and work to resolve it, without constantly seeking pretexts and excuses from outside the country.
Nowhere in the world has a just and lasting peace been built on false pretences, he added.
Commenting on the improved relations with, particularly, Uganda, Kagame said that both countries have a very good relationship, despite having a couple of low-hanging fruits to address.
He also said that there is, currently, nothing that can’t be dealt with together.
On the side of Burundi, he highlighted that real progress has been made, further commending Bujumbura for taking responsibility in different matters, including Burundian refugees who are in Rwanda.