News of Rwanda (Kigali)

28 September 2012

Rwanda: Kagame Warns Against 'Externalizing' DRC Crisis

President Paul Kagame has warned a UN high level summit on DRC against blaming external actors for the problem and seeking external solutions -- when such an approach "effectively absolves blame from those with primary responsibility".

Speaking at a closed door meeting hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at UN headquarters, President Kagame said "externalizing" the DRC crisis would not solve the problem.

"The many armed groups in the country are the outcome of a complex, long-standing historical reality," Kagame reportedly said. "Therefore singling out one group out of many is running away from the actual issue."

Rwanda is at the centre of a fierce international verbal exchange, during which it is finding itself on the defensive as various quarters accuse the government of links to the Congolese M23 rebels. Three UN reports have been published, all of which Kigali has dismissed every point in them.

Instead, Rwanda's defense minister Gen James Kabarebe last month revealed damning details about the conflict in DRC. In graphic detail, he named officials who were behind the flow of wrong information being fed to the UN and campaign groups. Gen Kabarebe released details of confidential discussions involving DRC President's emissaries who had visited Kigali to plead for help.

At some point, Gen Kabarebe revealed how a DRC intelligence chief had found him in his hotel room and pleaded with him for concocting the information that has been published. In one particular case, the UN reports contain the names of Captain who was

It emerged later that the officer was indeed Congolese and had never served in Rwanda's army, later alone even been to Rwanda. The officer's ID was released showing he had been a rebel commander before being integrated into the DRC army in 2009.supposedly a Rwandan army officer.

At the UN summit, President Kagame said that solving the crisis will be impossible if the international community continues "to define the issue erroneously," according to statement issued by Village Urugwiro.

Mr Kagame also told the meeting that a durable solution will only come from addressing the real issues of governance in Congo and dealing with the grievances of its citizens, the statement said.

President Kagame described as "perplexing" the degree to which the international community focuses on the current mutiny at the expense of the much broader challenges present in the DRC, in the eastern region and beyond.

"The problems in DRC are complex and longstanding, and therefore, applying simplistic or expedient solutions to resolve them, without going to their historical and political roots, will only gloss over them but not deal with them definitively," said Kagame.

Gahiji Innocent is the chief political columnist for Newsofrwanda.He grew up in Kampala,Uganda before moving to Rwanda.His column is syndicated to newspapers around the country. He has written columns from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Israel and South Africa. Gahiji , who has a B.A. degree in English from the University of Illinois, has been a Poynter Media Fellow at Yale University.

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