Rwanda: President Kagame tries to diffuse the diplomatic fallout of Ibuka’s speech on anti-Tutsi international conspiracy
Kigali – After official Tutsi spokesperson Theodore Simburudari unleashed his anger yesterday alleging international conspiracy to exterminate Tutsis, President Paul Kagame is trying to “disassociate” himself from the speech.
He has rapped the IBUKA head for making a “pronouncement” which he was not entitled to raise. “Anything attacking the East Africans is not correct,” said President Kagame.
Here is the last development:
Following what may have become a major diplomatic scandal when Genocide survivors’ group IBUKA said there was an international conspiracy to exterminate Tutsis, President Paul Kagame on Wednesday moved to “disassociate” his government from the comments, RNA reports.
Yesterday, IBUKA head Mr. Theodore Simburudari specifically attacked Rwanda’s regional neighbours for not being helpful in battling the extremist FDLR rebels – who he said are determined to “exterminate the remaining Tutsis”. IBUKA fired at DR Congo – singling out its PM Adolphe Muzito.
Mr. Simburudari was giving a speech at Rebero here in Kigali, to mark the end of the Tutsi Genocide commemoration period. The whole speech was derived from a report by UN experts on the FDLR. The document released in October details which countries, individuals and companies are aiding the continued survival of the rebels.
Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania were also not spared from the 22-minute long tirade by Mr. Simburudari, in addition to all of Rwanda’s donors, accusing them of harbouring, financing and protecting sympathizers of the militia group.
IBUKA’s argument was the fact that the whole world, including Rwanda’s neighbours are not doing anything on the rebels – as mentioned in the UN report, was testament that Tutsis will continue to be haunted and killed, as governments look on.
What Mr. Simburudari did not seem to take note of was that the event was attended by the members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) which is in Kigali for its annual session. The Rebero event was presided over by Senate President Dr. Vincent Biruta, also attended by the entire diplomatic corp.
To diffuse the imminent diplomatic fallout, President Kagame told a session of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) on Wednesday morning that “anything attacking” the East Africa Community is “not correct”. The President rapped the IBUKA head for making “pronouncements” which he was not entitled to raise.
“…Any matters arising out of such [UN] reports and other issues…sometimes they should be left to some of us…the leaders who manage such affairs,…and not everybody taking it upon himself or herself to make such a pronouncement,” Mr. Kagame said amid loud applause from the Legislators.
“So, in short, I am disassociating myself,” he added, amid more prolonged applause, as he continued, “…and disassociating our government and our people from such things.”
The President said Rwanda “has been hurt in many ways” by the UN “and we have to sort that out, but it shouldn’t provide ground to hurt others in the process.”
“On the contrary, I think Rwanda has everything to be grateful for in relation to our brothers and sisters in the East African Community,” said Mr. Kagame, as more applause came his way.
On the UN, the President was none apologetic, saying “I don’t believe everything as said in the UN reports…there are many reports.” He added: “So, anything attacking the East Africans is not correct.”
Meanwhile, yesterday at the event, realizing that IBUKA’s comments could complicate the improving relations with Kinshasa, the Senate President Dr. Vincent Biruta, tried to play down the alleged DRC’s support to the rebels.
He said even if there are other countries still helping the rebels, it was worthy to recognize the efforts of DR Congo and regional neighbours working together to end the problem.
Regional countries have showed willingness to solve the problem, said Biruta, but avoided mentioning FDLR directly in his brief intervention before he started reading from his written speech.
[Adapted from ARI-RNA]