News / Africa

Rwandan President Lashes Out at UN Over Leaked Report

Rwandan President Paul Kagame disputes a UN report alleging war crimes by Rwandan soldiers while giving the prestigious Oppenheimer lecture at London's International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame disputes a UN report alleging war crimes by Rwandan soldiers while giving the prestigious Oppenheimer lecture at London's International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Multimedia

Audio
Henry Ridgwell

Rwandan president Paul Kagame has again lashed out at the United Nations after a U.N. report suggested Rwandan soldiers were guilty of mass killings and rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Making a speech in London, Mr. Kagame suggested the report's authors had deliberately given a false account. As the dispute worsens, the Rwandan leader has threatened to withdraw Rwandan peacekeepers from Sudan.

Hours before Paul Kagame was due to give his speech, his supporters had arrived outside the venue in central London to show their love for the president and celebrate his recent re-election with songs, dances and plenty of Rwandan flags.

The esteem in which they hold Mr. Kagame is matched in Britain where he was invited to give the prestigious Oppenheimer lecture at London analyst group, the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

"It is a pleasure to be here at the International Institute for Strategic Studies and an honor to speak on the challenges of nation-building in Africa," he said.

President Kagame was re-elected in August with 94 percent of the vote, amid allegations that he'd intimidated and in some cases locked up political opponents.

But it's a simmering row between Rwanda and the United Nations that's now threatening to tarnish his image.

Paul Kagame's forces took power in 1994 after bringing an end to the genocide of his Tutsi people by Hutus.

A leaked U.N. report accuses his troops of carrying out mass killings and rape as they pursued the Hutus into the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1990s.

After his speech, the president rebutted the allegations.

"They are baseless and totally untrue and flawed in many ways. To accuse Rwandan forces of committing genocide in the Congo or wherever for that matter, other than what happened in our own country, is just absurd," he said.

As the row intensifies President Kagame has threatened to withdraw the 3,500 Rwandese peacekeepers from Darfur in Sudan. He says the UN's failure to stop the genocide against the Tutsis in 1994 invalidates any criticism of his forces.

Asked about the now improving relations between Rwanda and the DRC, Mr. Kagame said he believed that could be the motivation behind the U.N. report.

"While some people seem to acknowledge it is very good, other people feel threatened by it and want to undermine it. It's like 'Oh - if Rwanda and the Congo come together then what?'... there are people's jobs that are threatened by that," he said.

But Carina Tertsakian from Human Rights Watch says the Rwandan government should take the report seriously.

"The very serious abuses carried out by Rwandan troops as well as by Congolese groups in Congo in the '90s were well documented already at that time not only by U.N. teams but by different Non-Governmental Organizations, so to deny the accusations in that way is simply not credible. The Rwandan government should treat these allegations with the seriousness that they deserve and at the very least commit to bring to justice the perpetrators of these crimes."

Back in central London, Paul Kagame's supporters aren't letting the U.N. report change the way they view their president.

"He's full of democracy, full of achievements, development and prosperity," says one supporter. "I appreciate everything he does and he's genuine. We've seen a lot of people going and coming, but he's a genuine," another supporter said.

The U.N. report into the alleged war crimes by Rwandan forces in the DRC is due to be officially published on 1 October. Parts of it have already been leaked - and provoked a fiery response. When the full details emerge, the growing tension between President Kagame and the United Nations is only likely to get worse.

You May Like

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid