Kagame: «The UN is the cause of the congolese uprising»News
On the 13th and 14th of December, the Rwandan government held its 10th Umushyikirano (National Dialogue) in Kigali under the theme of ‘Agaciro’ – aiming for “self-reliance”. When addressing the public in his introductory speech, the Rwandan president Paul Kagame commented on the allegations of the UN regarding Rwanda’s involvement in the eastern DRC conflict and the suspensions of aid by several donor countries and stated that the UN is the cause of the Congolese uprising and that its reports are mere fabrications.
After stressing the importance of a dialogue between Rwandans among themselves, the president also called for a dialogue between Rwandans and ‘foreigners’ because ‘foreigners interfere with the lives of Rwandans all the time and this has consequences for Rwandans’. As the speech continued, the president seemed determined to turn the tables on the Congolese war and accused the UN of being the concealed root of all evil. Not only would the UN have ‘killed’ the Congo through its failing policies , but it would also be trying to cover up for its mistakes by lying about Rwanda’s involvement. The global multilateral organization would have a hidden agenda that aims at destroying the country’s progress and it is in the execution of this agenda that sanctions have been taken against Rwanda.
‘Achieving self-reliance has a very huge cost; it is expensive. Not only is it expensive in money, but it is expensive because as you try to reach this self-reliance, you will come across people who don’t want you to achieve it. As you try to move forward, you come across others who try to pull you back (…) especially those coming from outside. That iss why I said that there needs to be a dialogue between us and foreigners, the President declared. He continued: ‘I am saying this because this is the situation that Rwanda is in at this moment. What we are going through is like running a trial. A trial where a person kills another person and then drags the body to your door, and leaves it there as he goes to call the police. He then tells the police to come and arrest you, the murderer, when in fact he is the one that killed. Those that accuse us of having killed a person in the neighboring Congo are the ones that killed this person a longtime ago (…). The same people then come up with sanctions.’
President Kagame further displayed his discontent with the allegations in saying that they are based on speculations and random finger-pointing without evidence. He said ‘the reports’ were made beforehand without any facts or evidence, and afterwards ‘they’ sent ‘the experts’ to gather information that would complete what ‘they’ had already contemplated. ‘In the case of Rwanda’, he continued, ‘it is a thousand times worse because they wrote the report first, then they looked for information, and in the meantime, before any evidence was gathered and before the report came out, they had already implemented sanctions. What kind of behavior is this? Have you ever seen anything like this elsewhere in the world?’
However, in his opinion, Rwandans should not be mad at these ‘foreigners’ but rather mad at themselves for ‘letting these people treat them like a toy, or a door that they can open and close as they like’. Nevertheless, as he urged Rwandans to seek after self-reliance and independency, he called for a defensive attitude. In asking Rwandans ‘to face this injustice done to them’ he said they should demonstrate sufficient anger towards the foreigners and ‘push back’ in dealing with their problems.
Also, the President added that this is not a problem for Rwanda alone and said that all Africans are treated the same by these foreigners; they regard every African as being corrupt and a dictator, and use this as an excuse to ‘herd them like sheep’. ‘When they give money to Rwanda and they come back to find that we used it well, they start making up things about how we are causing problems in Congo. You can’t possibly spend the money well if you are African, you must be getting it from the neighbors. No African can be independent, so we have to be herd’, he stated ironically.
Not surprisingly, Paul Kagame once again takes on the role of the victim and lashes out at the West through his pleas of innocence. His government is not to blame, the United Nations and their ‘experts’ are. According to the head of Rwanda, Rwanda’s only crime has been to show remarkable progress by benefitting from international aid without corruption or a form of dictatorship. Now, paternalist Western countries are out to blacken this success so they have a reason to justify their approaches to Africans.
The National Dialogue is part of article 168 of the Rwandan Constitution and has been annually chaired by President Paul Kagame for the past 10 years. During this year’s meeting, ‘issues of national importance’ were “discussed” among a public of around 1000 people, with a strong focus on achieving practical solutions in order to obtain self-reliance.
Rwanda has been under a wave of criticism since the release of the report on M23, the rebel group that has been destabilizing the eastern region of the DRC. The report written by the UN Group of Experts showed Rwanda’s involvement by supporting M23 and has led to heavy aid cuts by The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and the UK. Many of these were immediately implemented following the earlier interim report and government’s officials, such as the Rwandan minister of Finance John Rwangombwa, have expressed concerns about how these budget cuts will influence Rwanda’s progress.