UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon defends UN report on Rwanda-led Genocide against Hutus in DR Congo
Kigali – UN Secretary General on Wednesday calmly defended the controversial report which Kigali has attacked in the strongest terms so far including that it is “malicious”, “ridiculous”, “outrageous and damaging”.
Mr. Ban told reporters at the Kanombe International Airport as he prepared to leave that the United Nations was interested in establishing the facts relating to what took place in Zaire and now DR Congo during the 1990s.
The report will be released after U.N. members and interested parties have had an opportunity to respond, said Ban.
The UN chief arrived in Rwanda on an unannounced visit Tuesday night in an attempt to defuse a row over the draft report. He met with Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo late at night, and on Wednesday mid-morning met with President Kagame.
Details of the discussions between the two leaders were not released, but from the sound of Mushikiwabo, Rwanda is in this for a long haul. Mr. Ban immediately left Village Urugwiro for the airport in the afternoon accompanied by Mushikiwabo.
At the airport he pleaded with Rwanda not withdraw its 3550 troops and police from Sudan.
“I have asked President Kagame to continue with that contribution around the world and in particular when we are going to see a referendum in Sudan in January next year,” Ban told journalists.
Mr. Ban also said he and President Kagame shared the disappointment with leaking on the document and the letter which Mushikiwabo sent him.
“…the president and I are disappointed” that the draft of the report was leaked, Ban told journalists.
For the Mushikiwabo, Rwanda still stands by its position – pointing out that her government will take strong action if the 545-page report is not amended. She did not say specifically which aspects she wants removed.
Mushikiwabo said: “Rwanda will never accept that the Rwandan Defence Forces be accused of crimes they are not guilty of and that is the bottom line.”
The 22,000-strong joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur at the center of withdrawal threats is commanded by Rwandan, Lt. Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba.
Rwanda also has nearly 300 troops and police serving in the more than 13,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission in semi-autonomous southern Sudan. They are enforcing a 2005 agreement with the government that ended Africa’s longest civil war — a key mission ahead of a January referendum on independence for South Sudan.
Government also has had police officers in Haiti.