Rwanda: Kagame Calls Out International Community On Political, Diplomacy Hypocrisy

What is happening in eastern DR Congo is far from being peaceful and tranquil if politicians and diplomats continue to avoid the truth, facts, and evidence, President Paul Kagame told envoys accredited to Rwanda on Wednesday, February 8.

In his address during the diplomatic corps dinner, Kagame spoke at length about Rwanda’s relations with the DR Congo, the role of the international community, the UN Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) that has achieved less or close to nothing in the last two decades, the United Nations Group of Experts that have produced reports but failed to tackle why the Genocidal FDLR has stayed operation in the DR Congo for nearly three decades among others.

The President’s address was at the diplomatic gala dinner event that is hosted seasonally and aims at bringing together government officials and diplomats to reflect on achievements as well as deliberate on “deeper relations”.

In his remarks, Kagame welcomed 14 new envoys who presented their credentials on the same day.

Beyond bilateral relations, however, he said that the situation in eastern DR Congo keeps flaring up, a problem that should be solved from the root causes.

Kagame said; “In our broad partnerships, there are these things we have to deal with which sometimes may even threaten what we have built over many years together with your support,” he added, “Some of us have to make sure that it doesn’t happen, be it in Rwanda or elsewhere.”

He went into detail to elaborate on relations between DR Congo and its neighbors but dwelt mostly on the current impasse between Rwanda and DR Congo, and hinted at the international community’s double standards, saying that

Politics, diplomacy hypocrisy

“What I have learnt over the years, politics and diplomacy are very strange things,” Kagame told a hall full of diplomats at Kigali Convention Center.

“I don’t know whether it is because of the world order we find ourselves in today, or it has always been like this or it will be like this, but in both, there tends to be a lack or rather people don’t tend to commit to the truth, to facts or evidence. It is only everything in between. To avoid truth, avoid facts or avoid evidence,” he said.

The head of state explained that the truth tends to be a matter of perception or is subjective, citing that the majority tend to go along the same way.

“And sometimes things defy logic or reason,” he added.

Kagame said he was raising the current problem between Kigali and Kinshasa because he was being asked the same question and answering the same answers over and over without paying off.

“I try to give the answers, but because I answer the same questions over and over sometimes I answer differently to see that they might understand. But it doesn’t change,” he said.

The problem between Rwanda and DR Congo, even if it involves other people, has been persistent for nearly three decades.

With the situation recurring for almost every five years and in the presence of MONUSCO, the head of state said, if diplomacy and politics have nothing, why would you have tens of thousands of peacekeepers in a place for over 20 years costing tens of billions of dollars and it keeps going without anybody taking stock?

“Normally what I suspect would happen is that people after some time take stock of what has been happening. We expect to see their concerns such as what has been achieved, what are we getting for our money, what are we getting for the lives of our peacekeepers. Normally stock would be taken and from there you can do things differently like you want. But things just keep rolling irrespective of what is happening,” he said.

This is despite the mission having been created to try and address some of the issues for the benefit of the country but also for the neighbors who are affected.

“But that doesn’t happen. So what problem are we addressing in actual fact as the international community? Which Rwanda is only a tiny part of? This is why I’m saying that I think in the order we have today, in diplomacy and politics the facts, the reasoning and the evidence don’t matter. They are dead,” he added.

Rwanda accused of being in DR Congo

President Kagame told diplomats that on several occasions he encountered accusations of Rwanda having a hand in the DR Congo conflict.

He said that Before he answers the accusations, He normally asks them why would Rwanda have any interest in that, a question he says no one has ever endeavoured to answer.

In presenting Rwanda’s position, the President was categorical in saying that Rwanda use all possible means to prevent the Genocidal FDLR to come back to its territories.

Despite regional efforts to pacify peace in the eastern DR Congo, the Kinshasa Government has deliberately violated of agreements signed in the last two years.

President Kagame gave an example of how the regional head of state met in Bujumbura recently, agreed on some terms, and only for DR Congo to go home and announce a contrary decision from the Bujumbura agreement.