Kigali, 23 November 2011

President Kagame and Denis Sassou N’Guesso of Congo today said that Africa is no longer the continent that waits for solutions to come from outside, in spite of existing weaknesses as a result of low capacities.

During a joint press conference held at Urugwiro Village at the end of President Sassou N’Guesso’s three-day visit, President Kagame said:

“There will always be problems and weaknesses and ours will always be work in progress. We will always continue to increase our capacities by coming together and forging relations to enable us confront our problems. A relationship like the one (Rwanda and Congo) comes to serve this purpose. We don’t move forward only because we are in agreement. We cannot all have the same views all the time but we have to move forward in spite of all.”


President Sassou N’Guesso said that in the recent past, African nations, through the African Union have been actively involved in finding solutions for problems  affecting the continent, citing peacekeeping in Darfur, Somalia and the AU involvement to find solutions for the Libyan crisis:

“It is indeed an exaggeration to suggest that Africa is not united because it is evident that Africa is now moving forward as a continent and taking its position in global affairs. We now voice our global interests as a continent, like we did during the climate change Summit. Africa is getting organised.”

On cooperation between Rwanda and Congo, President Kagame said that this is not limited to one area:

“We have agreed to leave all options open and begin with what will give our countries and our people quick wins as we move forward to solidify our cooperation and open up to more areas. There is no limit to what we can do together as countries.”

On Rwanda refugees living in Congo, President Sassou N’Guesso said his government was working closely with UNHCR and will implement the Cessation Clause as stipulated by the international law.

Commenting on the recent developments in Libya where the late President Gaddafi’s son, Seif Al-Islam was arrested, President Kagame said that since the alleged crimes were committed in Libya and against Libyans, as a sovereign state Libya reserves the right to their own citizen:

“Considering what Libya has gone through and may not have the capacity to try the case, the Libyan people should be able to look for other options, like combining local and international efforts to implement justice.”

In a Joint Communiqué marking the end of the visit, the two Heads of State made a commitment for the two nations to strengthen cooperation in commerce, environment and natural resources, tourism, judiciary, air transport and public service reforms.

At a regional level, the two Heads of State made a commitment to follow closely the evolution of the DR Congo elections and noted that the Summit of the International Conference on the Great Lakes scheduled for Kampala on 15 December would be good opportunity to revisit the security situation in the region. The two Heads of State also committed to fight all negative forces operating in the region and condemned FDLR and LRA militias and other negative forces bent on destabilising the region.