New Times ( Rwanda ) reports
‘Kikwete’s remarks on FDLR shocking’
Mushikiwabo says President Kikwete could be just another sympathiser for the group whose ideology is still being fought in Rwanda and worldwide. The New Times/File.
Remarks made by President Jakaya Kikwete on the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels have been described as “aberrant” and “shocking”.
The Tanzanian President suggested - during an AU summit on Sunday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - that Kigali should negotiate with the Congo-based rebels. The Summit tackled security issues on the continent, including instability in eastern DR Congo.
Rosebell Kagumire drew this spat to my attention on facebook this morning.
" And this madness from Rwanda shdnt be allowed by East Africans! Jakaya Kikwete calls for talks between Rwanda and FDLR and we have Rwandan genocide survivors saying he has a plan to exterminate them! why dont we respect history and not misuse these words!! "
Rosebell Kagumire ( Facebook )
But in an interview with Radio France Internationale (RFI) on Monday, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo said Rwanda will not consider negotiating with people who are responsible for the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.
There can be little doubt that the perpetrators of the genocide in an ideal world should not be negotiated with. We don't live in an ideal world. Imagine if you can that Nelson Mandela had decided to adopt the same approach to the apartheid regime that preceded the ANC's assumption of power.
“Those who think that Rwanda today should sit down at the negotiating table with FDLR simply don’t know what they are talking about,” she said adding that it is unfortunate that the rebel group has sympathisers in the region, including President Kikwete himself, should he not retract his comments.
President Kikwete has very legitimate reasons for wanting negotiations Tanzania is leading MONUSCO's Africa brigade. This is to become the offensive arm of the MONUSCO deployment anything that limits the potential casualties that may be inflicted on the Africa brigade should be considered and if that means talking to the FDLR however distasteful that may be, it should be done.
Mushikiwabo told the French broadcaster that she did not expect President Kikwete to suggest that Rwanda negotiate with known terrorists since he has served as a foreign affairs minister for his country and knows the FDLR background.
Which shows Mushikiwabo's geopolitical failings and unsuitability for her role.
Minister Mushikiwabo pointed out that President Kikwete could be just another sympathiser for the group whose ideology is still being fought in Rwanda and worldwide.
Ignorance springs to mind.
“There are many spokespeople for the FDLR. Some are ideologically aligned to the FDLR. We stopped the Genocide but we didn’t stop the ideology,” she added.
That amounts to a major admission of failure on Rwanda's part. Alex Engwete points out on this issue.
" Mushikiwabo, who has the reputation in the DRC of a mudslinger extraordinaire, is the only person in the region who doesn't see the logic in Kikwete's statement."
The FDLR is made up of members who are largely responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. The group, named by the UN as a terrorist organisation, has been involved in creating instability in eastern Congo along with several armed militia roaming in the region and it attacked Rwanda twice last year, killing two people.
After 20 years ? I doubt it. Yes they are rebels but most of them would have been children when the 1994 genocide occurred.
Reactions from experts
At the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the African Union- celebrated last weekend in Addis Ababa, a meeting involving parties concerned by the Addis Ababa Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region signed in February was held, during which President Kikwete called for all-encompassing talks with belligerents in the Congo.
Something that would seem very reasonable to me.
He reportedly told participants at the meeting, including Rwandan and Ugandan Presidents Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni, that the recently deployed UN brigade will only be able to help temporarily, essentially calling for all the concerned parties to enter into talks with rebels.
I find that hard to believe. Mind you I wouldn't blame Tanzania one bit for starting to get disheartened given the stupidity both the DR Congo and Rwanda are indulging in at the moment.
The Tanzanian President suggested that Rwanda engages in direct talks with the FDLR and that President Museveni holds talks with the rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces-National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-NALU) that is opposed to his government.
Several experts and analysts in Rwanda reacted to Kikwete’s comments with condemnation.
Professor Pierre Rwanyindo, Director of the Kigali-based Institute of Research and Dialogue for Peace (IRDP) told The New Times yesterday that negotiations with the FDLR are simply impossible and Kikwete seems to “ignore the history”.
“He (Kikwete) should first ask himself how FDLR ended up in Congo since they are not Congolese. The Rwandan government encourages all Rwandan refugees to return home, but the FDLR just want to attack Rwanda because of the crimes they committed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi,” Rwanyindo said.
Foxtrot Foxtrot Sierra. Who is ignoring history here ? Interesting what happens to Rwandans who return home though.
Insult to Rwandans
The Chairperson of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs committee, MP Gideon Kayinamura, also said negotiating with the FDLR is insulting.
“You just don’t enter into negotiations with genocidaires. It’s an insult on Rwandans,” he said.
Alice Umutoni, a survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi said that as Tanzania’s President, Kikwete should know better.
“Given that the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is based in Tanzania, we have no doubt that President Kikwete has been following the court proceedings and should comprehend the threat posed by the FDLR to Rwanda’s and the region’s peace and security,” Umutoni said.
Last month, the United States renewed its staked $5 million (about Rwf3.2 billion) for information leading to the arrest, transfer and conviction of FDLR’s leader Sylvestre Mudacumura.
Rwanda grow the fuck up.