Responses to an article in Times newspaper (UK)

Sir, On behalf of my country Rwanda, I would like to express my deep disappointment at such an article which contains ill-intended inaccuracies and misinformation. 

Sir,

On behalf of my country Rwanda, I would like to express my deep disappointment at such an article which contains ill-intended inaccuracies and misinformation. 

It is not a coincidence that it is published on the day we commemorate the genocide against more than one million Tutsis who perished in Rwanda in 1994.

Ms Philp engages in an insidious balancing game of comparing the genocide in Rwanda and the killings in the DRC.  These two are not comparable.

Comparing the numbers of the dead whether in Rwanda, Darfur or the DRC shows serious lack of understanding of the meaning and gravity of genocide.

The 1994 genocide against the Tutsis was stopped by the Rwandan Patriotic Front under the leadership of the current President of Rwanda, H.E. Paul Kagame whom the author unfortunately refers to as “Self-styled liberator” after the complete failure of the international community to intervene and stop the carnage.

With regard to the UN report allegations of possible Rwanda’s assistance or collaboration with the CNDP forces in the DRC, even the UN report itself in paragraph 62 indicates that “there is little documentation available to prove Rwandan material support to the CNDP”. 

For more information on the Government of Rwanda’s response to all UN report allegations, I refer the author to the comprehensive response by my Government.

It is a fact that the root cause of the problems in the Eastern DRC is the presence of FDLR/Ex-FAR/Interahamwe who committed genocide in Rwanda and is responsible for most of the killings in the DRC. 

This has prompted the UN resolution 1804 to disarm such a genocidal force and sanctioned its leaders. 

The DRC Government has also acknowledged this problem which is why both Governments (Rwanda and DRC) are working together to find a lasting solution, in addition to normalizing diplomatic and economic relations.

I would also like to express my dismay at the article’s allegations that ‘Rwandan customs accounting regularly show it is exporting tonnes of minerals that it does not even produce’. 

This clearly shows ignorance or deliberate misleading of the public because such information on Rwanda’s mineral production and exports are public information, which are used by all stakeholders including the IMF and the World Bank. 

Rwanda has minerals of her own and exploited in an open and transparent manner and no statistics have ever indicated that we export more than we produce. Such unsubstantiated allegations again serve to deliberately tarnish the image of Rwanda.

In conclusion, it is most unfortunate that Ms Philp chooses to view aid as a tool for dictating how the Government of Rwanda should cater for its people who were neglected by the international community during the genocide.

The deliberate timing of this article to coincide with Rwanda’s 15th commemoration of genocide against the Tutsis can only be interpreted as another form of denial of the genocide. 

By any standards, such an article does not help the global struggle to ensure that ‘Never Again’ is not just a slogan.

Claver Gatete
Rwandan Ambassador in London, UK

 

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