Kigali, 4 August 2016
President Kagame today addressed the 13th Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa conference taking place in Kigali, which seeks to address the growing threat of abuse on universal jurisdiction against Africa.
Speaking on the importance of intelligence services in national security, President Kagame said:
“Intelligence services are the custodians of national, regional, and global security. Your commitments should be translated into action by disseminating the needed intelligence assessments to the African Union Peace and Security Council, in support of Agenda 2063, which reflects our common good as Africans, rather than narrow national interests.”
President Kagame urged African intelligence services to be adaptive to new global trends in regard to emerging threats to national security.
“Africa is part of the global security environment, which is characterised by multi-dimensional interests and threats that evolve rapidly and cut across national boundaries. Terrorism, inspired by very harmful ideologies, and determined to radicalise our youth, is an ever-present danger. So is trans-national crime, such as wildlife poaching, human trafficking, drug smuggling, or cybercrime.”
President Kagame cautioned that ranks between so-called weak and strong nations had closed due to threats facing them, stressing the need for global collaboraton.
“For a long time, some parts of the world seemed more important than others and the lives of the people there, somehow more valuable. International responses generally reflected that unspoken hierarchy. But looking at the global state of affairs today, there is no longer any clear distinction between so-called strong and weak states. We are all affected, and more importantly, everybody has an essential contribution to make in finding solutions. It all speaks to the complex interconnectedness of the world we find ourselves in. The need for more and stronger cooperation across the world is clear. CISSA must adapt to these changing realities by sharing information amongst our respective services and beyond. Security is the foundation, of everything else. That is why we will always require intelligence services that are capable, professional and collaborative”
Urging African intelligence institutions on professionalism, President Kagame observed that professionalism is what allows security agencies to serve the established constitutional order, rather than individuals and thereby earning the public’s trust. He said everyone should aim to leave behind intelligence services, from which they have nothing to fear, even after they retire.
Concluding on the theme of the conference, President Kagame said:
“Accountability for crimes, is a principle that the African Union endorses, without ambiguity. But politicising justice, and deploying it more or less exclusively against one continent, or pursuing it selectively for whatever reason, is not the answer. It is more rightly seen, as a form of “lawfare”, where international law is abused to keep Africa in a subordinate position in the global order.”
President Kagame said that Rwanda like many other countries, had had more than its fair share and that Rwandans did not expect it to stop anytime soon and neither would it ever be acceptable to them.