Kigali, 1 July 2014

President Kagame has said that the departure of some of the RPF cadres over the last 20 years should not be perceived as a cause for weakness because many more other cadres joined the party. Speaking during a meeting with journalists ahead of celebrations to mark 20 years of liberation, President Kagame pointed out that those who left may not have been genuine cadres from the beginning:

“The state of RPF 20 years later is that of dynamism. It would not be a good thing if RPF has remained as it was 20 years ago. It is normal to see people come and go, these are realities of life. RPF works in various challenges but it has never been found wanting politically, economically, socially, internally and externally.”

Sharing his memories of the liberation struggle 20 years ago, President Kagame said what lingers in his mind is the state of despair and death, starvation and crises and the plight of the ordinary people who had to bear situation.

“We had no luxury of fear, fighting was not only at the battleground but elsewhere too, all odds were against us but we were strengthened by the validity of our cause and we remained focused to execute the struggle.”

On the existing relationship with Tanzania, President Kagame said Rwandan and Tanzanian people are more than brothers and sisters with whom they not only share the continent of Africa, but share the same destiny.

“Putting other things aside, that’s what it is. There shouldn’t have been any problem between Rwanda and Tanzania because there is no justification. The interests of African people override the shortsightedness of individuals who cause problems”

President Kagame said Rwanda and Rwandans should not be bothered by people who fail to act after making pledges, and only concentrate on building capacities internally and regionally in order to deal with challenges facing them. Referring to the recurrent issue of FDLR where the international Community has been pledging to deal with it decisively but the group has continued to exist in the jungles of Congo where they terrorise innocent civilians, President Kagame said that some people have decided to make FDLR a complex issue yet it is in reality a very simple problem.

Never Again is now used to deceive others. People say things they won’t do. the world is cynical it gives honor to those who committed genocide in Rwanda but says it has to tackle them. There is not much we can do there, but there is much we can do here in defense of our people. They can do a lot of bad things to destroy our name but what they cannot do is our will to deal with our challenges. For the lives of our people you have no chance – whoever supports you, you will not succeed.”

President Kagame said Rwandans deserve the best in life, and therefore there was no question of choosing between freedom and food, because one cannot exist without the other and the Government of Rwanda strives to ensure that the people are empowered to achieve both because it is the best approach:

“Talk about lack of freedom originates in the minds of people who lack critical analysis of issues. Others just repeat songs played by people abroad without understanding the meaning, not knowing that the lyrics of the song might contain insults directed to you.”

On growing demands that France declassifies archives on Rwanda during the genocide and relationship between Rwanda and France, President Kagame wondered why the archives have not been declassified in the last 20 years.

“There have been meetings between Rwandan and French leaders and our intention at all meeting was to turn the page and move on while theirs was denial and defensiveness which hinders progress. But meetings we have realized that meetings cannot resolve issues because if that was the case, all outstanding issues would have been resolved by now. What I think should happen is retrospect by some individuals. On our side we have been forward looking and that’s the reason we have made progress”

Concerning relationship with DRC, President Kagame said any issues between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo would be resolved and people would move on.