KIGALI - Prime Minister, Bernard Makuza, yesterday spoke out strongly against the United Nations DR Congo Human Rights Mapping Report saying that whether altered or not, the Government maintains it is “flawed and baseless.”
Addressing a news conference on Patriotism day, which falls on October 1, Makuza said that the Government will assess the report which was released yesterday in Geneva and take necessary measures.
He said that the report which alleges that Rwandan forces might have committed atrocities in the DRC lacks credibility and does not have enough evidence to back its claims.
“We will maintain our position because it is flawed and disregards the facts. It is far from the truth and it does not put in context the events at the time — both in the region and in the country, as well as the situation people were in at the time,” Makuza said.
“It is very misleading and its aim is to confuse the public and divert the attention from what actually happened here in Rwanda and in DRC. The UN is covering up its failures and mistakes---the report shows that they are just buying time by confusing the public.”
The Prime Minister noted that the concocted evidence, unknown witnesses and reliance on information from unknown NGOs as well as the methodology used, is proof that the report is flawed and should not be given any credibility.
Makuza accused the authors of the report for disregarding the facts on the ground. At the time, Rwandan soldiers were assisting thousands of people who had fled the country to return home.
“If you analyse, you realise that these people had other intentions. Even the leakage (of the report) was a conspiracy in the first place---as we stated from the beginning, the report omitted deliberately the context and the methodology used was not credible,” Makuza said.
He added that when it leaked, Rwanda was asked to submit its concerns which it did.
Government Spokesperson and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo, in a press statement issued after the report was released, said that the United Nations had stripped the “Mapping Report” of all legal or historical credibility.”
“We note that the UN also recognizes that the report omits crucial historical context, uses problematic methodology and sourcing, and the standard of proof used to justify the allegations in it, is woefully inadequate,” Mushikiwabo said.
“Rwanda will continue to defend herself against all attempts to rewrite our history in any form and in any forum, including reserving the right to review our various engagements with the UN”.
The report is said to have toned down its language after a draft which was leaked last month, drew lots of criticism from the Government. However, analysts say the language may have been toned down, but the basic allegations are maintained.
“It seems clear that no amount of tinkering can resuscitate the credibility of this fundamentally misguided process. This report is yet another attempt to distort Rwanda’s history and prolong instability in the Great Lakes Region,” the government spokesperson added.
Makuza pointed out that such reports, including those by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, are aimed at destabilising and derailing the remarkable progress the country is registering, but will not succeed.