President Kagame during the speech in Parliament today (Photo: PPU)
Kigali: President Paul Kagame on Thursday made another swipe at the regional colonial master Belgium – in a major speech in parliament in which he also described the DR Congo government as "ideologically bankrupt".
Without naming Belgium by name, President Kagame said whoever was still looking at Rwanda from the colonial period was mistaken. “Rwanda is no longer part of Rwanda-Urundi and Congo Belge,” said Kagame.
The President’s comments come following weeks of frosty relations with Rwanda’s colonial master over the current conflict in eastern DRC. Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Reynders has found himself in Kigali’s firing line after suggesting repeatedly that Rwanda was backing Congolese M23 rebels.
During a sideline UN meeting on DRC in New York hosted by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last week, the Belgium top diplomat again came in the spotlight when President Kagame reportedly walked out as he spoke in the closed-door meeting. Rwanda’s UN mission has played down the incidence – saying the President moved out to attend to an urgent matter.
Back in Kigali, the President spent much of his 1-hour speech bashing at the west. The Head of State was swearing-in senior government officials including; Maj Gen Frank Kamanzi Mushyo who was appointed the Army Chief of Staff for land forces; and Ombudsman, Aloysie Cyanzayire.
In a mixture of English and Kinyarwanda, the President criticized western nations for the latest stance on Rwanda that has seen several donor nations indicating they would freeze aid. “After these boundary lines were drawn by colonizers, we are now being asked why there are Rwandophones in the Congo,” said Kagame.
While outlining the aid agreements including Busan (South Korea), he said donor governments had abused the international agreements by cutting aid to Rwanda. The donors did not have the courtesy to communicate to Rwanda but relayed the messages in the media, complained Kagame.
“…injustice does not make us compliant, it makes us defiant .I'm not the one to comply to injustices caused to my people,” added the President.
He said the west and the Kinshasa government falsely blame Kigali for developing Rwanda using Congolese resources. Western companies are transporting minerals through Kigali, said Kagame adding: “Have we stopped anybody at roadblock?”
“The issue here is why do resources that continue to enrich them are not doing the same for Congolese,” said Kagame.
The President also said future Rwandan leaders should be judged on him because he has stopped at nothing to protect Rwandans against attack. “This is why you hired me,” said Kagame.
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