President Kagame today received the United Nations Security Council delegation that arrived in the country from the Democratic Republic of Congo, as part of their tour of the region. During the meeting, President Kagame made it clear that Rwanda should not be held responsible for the conflict in the DRC:

“People who started this war should help end this war. Rwanda did not start this war. Process based on lies and prejudice will not lead to a solution. Rwanda has and will continue to participate honestly and genuinely in finding a solution to the conflict in DRC in partnership with those who are interested in peace and stability.”

President Kagame also called on members of the United Nations Security Council to take a stand against the selective use of international law  and to support the development of judicial systems in DRC and across Africa:

“What we have seen is the selective use of international law for political purposes. International justice should not pursue one side while others remain above international law. We cannot run away from building justice systems locally. Ultimately, Africa should have its own court to try some of these cases.”

Leading the delegation, Samantha Powers expressed the United Nations Security Council commitment to stand by Rwanda in a note left at Gisozi Genocide Memorial:

“We feel terrible remorse for what was allowed to happen. What we allowed to happen. And we resolve to stand with the Rwandan people in the years ahead.”

After the meeting with the President, Maria Cristina Perceval from Argentina said the delegation had been convinced that there was political will and commitment in the region to support peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo:

“The weakness of institutions in the DRC has contributed to the creation of armed groups. Our commitment as the international community needs to be eliminating all armed groups and every country in the region needs to use its leverage to eliminate these groups.”

On the accusations of recruitment of child soldiers, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwaboa said:

“Rwanda is not a country that just appeared yesterday, it is a country that has a track record. Our country does not tolerate children being enrolled in any way in our army. If this  matter was properly litigated and investigated, you would find that it’s not in Rwanda’s practice to keep children near weapons; we have done a lot in this country to stay away from this kind of practice. The issue of child soldiers is one of the results of the crisis in the DRC and is a consequence of the existence of these groups. We are not happy about this accusation and we are going to set the record straight and continue with our contribution towards eliminating the root causes of this situation.”

The delegation is headed to Kampala, Uganda where they will meet with President Yoweri Museveni in Entebbe, before proceeding