Home Uncategorized Kagame Calls Time On Scapegoating Rwanda For DRC Crisis

Kagame Calls Time On Scapegoating Rwanda For DRC Crisis

by Vincent Gasana
10:54 am

 It was arguably the most consequential report, delivered at any African Union (AU) summit. That the fact may escape some, is as good an example as any, of how the security situation on the continent, all but hijacked the 37th African Union Summit. Such is the gravity of the report, that the chair of the reforms, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, who presented it, could and probably should have been expected to do little else, after his presentation. As it is, he once again found himself having to address the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In 2016, the AU Assembly, appointed President Kagame, to lead a reform of the organisation, which would bridge the gap between its ambitions and the practical reality of what it was capable of doing. Among the reforms, was to put the AU, on sound footing financially.

It is not overstating it to suggest that the AU reforms are fundamental to the AU remaining a viable institution, not only on the African continent, but globally. Yet, alongside the report, the crisis in the DRC, vied for attention, and it got it in the strongest terms.

It was Kagame at his most direct, the hard hitting tone suggesting exasperation, with not only the DRC’s leadership, but a wider world that seems determined to turn a blind eye to the actual causes of the crisis, prefering to echo the Congolese leadership, which points a finger at Rwanda, for all of Congo’s ills.

At what was billed as a mini summit on the DRC, President Kagame’s message was a stark warning to some. Rwada remains committed to a search for peace, through the established regional processes and mechanisms, he told his audience, but When it comes to ensuring security for Rwandans, the country needs no permission from anyone.

Rwanda will never hesitate or apologize for protecting the security of its people. Nor will we seek permission to do so.” No one, he added, will be allowed to take Rwanda back to the conditions during which the country lost over a million people, referring to the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi.

More directly and unquivocally than he had done before, he addressed the incorporation of the genocidal forces of the so called, Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), into the Congolese armed forces (FARDC). “FDLR and their integration into FARDC must be addressed” he said, flatly.

And in a barely concealed reference to the DRC leadership, and their insistence that Rwanda is to blame for all of their society’s ills, he had this to say: “there is no use arguing with those who have repeated their lies long enough, they have come to believe them.”

Anyone who has observed Kagame’s leadership, will have noted that he neither wastes words, nor does he ever say anything for effect. He makes statements based on his judgement of what the situation requires, what he thinks needs to be understood by specific groups, or individuals.

The fact that it is not the first time he has issued the message that Rwanda does not need permission to secure its people’s safety, suggests he has ample reason for saying so, that perhaps someone, somewhere has made a habit of overstepping the mark, and the head of state deems necessary to draw clearly for all to see where it is.

For more than twenty years now, Rwanda has attempted to draw the attention of the world to the nature of the FDLR and the danger it posed not only to Rwanda, but ironically to the DRC, which embraces it.

From the Western powers, who are mentioned under the umbrella of the interntional community, the response has ranged from a dismissive deaf ear, a claim that the FDLR is a spent force, in effect telling Rwanda that really, outsiders have a better understanding of the situation than does Rwanda.

Taking their cue from the Western leadership, the DRC leadership has claimed that there is no such thing as the FDLR in one moment, only to then, demand that Rwanda negotiate with FDLR, or that the international community help the DRC to fight them, all the while putting them in FARDC uniform.


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