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VOA Interview: Rwandan President Pledges Reconciliation for His Ethnically Divided Nation - 2003-08-29


Rwandan President Paul Kagame says he will continue the process of reconciliation and national unity to bring the majority Hutus and minority Tutsis together to live in peace.

In an interview with VOA Thursday, Mr. Kagame said the country, with the just-concluded vote, is already on the right path in building democracy. Mr. Kagame, who won 95 percent of the vote in this week's presidential election, said he will work to ensure that democracy in Rwanda is protected and strengthened.

The president rejected claims by Faustin Twagiramungu, the main opposition candidate in the election, that the vote was rigged. Mr. Kagame said it is one of those situations in which losers always have something to complain about.

The Rwandan president, however, indicated he may include members of the opposition in his new government.

Mr. Kagame says relations between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are improving, now that the nearly five years of war in the former Zaire have ended.

Relations between the two countries worsened when Rwanda backed the 1998 uprising by Congolese rebels in the eastern part of the country. The war eventually involved some six African countries.

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