Kigali, 19 June 2012

President Kagame has reiterated that Rwanda has no involvement in the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and termed it an internal national issue that should be solved by DRC and the international community. Speaking at today’s press conference at Urugwiro Village President Kagame said problems in Congo have been around for a long time and it is absurd when they are seen as Rwanda’s making:

“Problems of governance in DRC continue but are not considered as a key cause of the crisis because of hypocrisy of the international community. People make it seem as if Congo does not exist on its own. There is a tendency of people running away from issues to make Rwanda the scapegoat”.

President Kagame said that in the interest of peace, Rwanda intervened and helped broker the accords of 2009 which were meant to resolve many domestic issues in DRC but the implementation failed.

“Rwanda cannot take responsibility for Congo’s problems. The continued presence of FDLR in DRC has been ignored even as they cause suffering to Congolese and focus has now turned to capturing Bosco Ntaganda. But what we fail to understand is why they elect to drag Rwanda into this when everyone knows this is supposed to be a Congolese problem.”



On the issue of UN and its failure to solve problems in the region, President Kagame said Rwandans have come to accept the fact that they live in an imperfect world and have decided to move on with their lives. He said that matters are made worse by the fact that it is difficult to know for sure who the UN is, and therefore, Rwanda has decided to play its role in the UN with full knowledge of the inherent complexities.

On Gacaca which has just been officially closed, President Kagame said that Rwandans viewed the process in terms of results and quality and not so much about its imperfections.

“The imperfections of Gacaca are more about a clash between traditional and modern systems and not about providing solutions.  In any case, it doesn’t mean that modern systems work better. We went traditional because this is what works better for us.”

On the issue of Rwanda’s relations with the new French administration, President Kagame said that there have not yet been strong contacts with the new government but that Rwanda looks to build this based on earlier strong relations with France.

Concerning the plans for Rwanda’s 50th anniversary of independence, President Kagame said that although this will not be done in the way others do because of limited means, there will be reflections on what the celebrations mean to Rwandans and the country’s heritage.