Kigali, 27 February 2013

President Kagame has said that the debate about change, continuity and stability in Rwanda should not be trivialized and reduced to an issue of term limits.

“Let’s not trivialize national matters. The well-being, the interest, the security, the future of eleven million Rwandans are all made as simple as the President wanting another term. The whole essence of what the country should be doing, the direction it should be moving towards and the well-being of the whole country is lost and we go around and around instead of thinking about the future of this whole country. I am thinking about the future of this whole country, I am not talking about a third term.” President Kagame told the local regional and international press gathered at Urugwiro Village.

When asked about current acquittals of ICTR cases as well as Rwanda’s outstanding request to host ICTR archives, President Kagame pointed to the continued use of justice as a political tool. “Some have turned perpetrators into victims and victims into perpetrators. A lot happens behind the scenes that begs a lot of answers,” President Kagame told the press.

On the DR Congo Peace and Cooperation Framework that was signed by 11 countries in Addis Ababa on February 24, President Kagame said regional cooperation towardshomegrown and lasting solution to DR Congo is important because problems in Congo have a direct effect on its neighbors.

Concerning allegations that there were internal clashes in the M23 rebel group, President Kagame said he is not concerned with what happens in M23 because his main concern is for peace to prevail in Eastern Congo:

“I don’t concern myself with what goes on in M23We hope whatever happens will not derail the peace process. My main concern is the presence of FDLR in Congo and their agents.

Asked about the recent changes he effected on cabinet, and especially the creation of a state ministry in charge of mines, President Kagame said he was happy with the work done by his cabinet but that as the coach of the team, he had to be keen enough to keep making adjustments to keep the team effective. President Kagame said the creation of the State Ministry in charge of mining was in recognition of the contribution of Rwanda’s mineral resources to the economy, adding that it would serve to clear persistent confusion on the origin of minerals in the region.

Answering a question on whether time has not come to make changes in the Parliamentary voting system, President Kagame said there would be no problem if there was a broader debate that would lead to a general consensus by citizens on the issue, rather than personal sentiments generated by a few individuals.

Concerning a recent meeting by opposition groups where it members reportedly expressed their willingness to come to Rwanda and participate in the upcoming Parliamentary elections, President Kagame said:

“They are welcome in any form and shape, in any way they may prefer to come. They should come here and face challenges other Rwandans are facing.