Kagame Not Taking Kikwete ‘FDLR Remarks’ For Granted

cost sales geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 115%;”>“When people continue to uphold the genocide ideology, adiposity it is a reminder that the path ahead is still long, ” Kagame told the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) National Executive Committee meeting in Kigali on Saturday.

“We cannot take anything for granted. For Rwanda, this is not just about a discussion. The consequences are a death or life issue for Rwanda,” he added.

He further noted that talk of negotiations with FDLR was “evidence of those who have the luxury of speaking but suffer no consequences.”

Kagame’s statements come at a time of a cold war with Tanzanian leaders who have since maintained that Rwanda talks to FDLR, a militia that draws majority of its leaders and combatants from the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide, as part of a political solution to the DRC conflict.

It remains unclear what point Kagame intended to drive home but one could argue that Rwanda suspects Tanzania of collaborating with FDLR.

Shortly before RPF waged war against the regime of Juvenal Habyarimana, Uganda and other countries asked Habyarimana to hold peace talks with Rwandans in exile.

When Habyarimana refused to hold talks, RPF crossed from Uganda to the mountains of Northern Rwanda. It later emerged that Uganda was secretly supporting RPF with logistics to topple Habyarimana.

It appears these memories are still fresh in Kagame’s mind, a reason Rwanda looks at Kikwete’s regime with suspicion.

Tanzania is among the countries that contributed troops to fight M23 rebel group in DRC. While Rwanda denies backing the M23 Movement, it provides the shield needed by Kigali against the FDLR militia.

It’s equally important to note that not so long ago, FDLR’s Deputy Commander and head of military operations, Gen Stanislas Bigaruka, was arrested from Tanzania.

Sources say the seizure of Bigaruka, who is second-in-command to ICC-indicted Gen Sylvester Mudacumura, embarrassed Kikwete’s government.


Drama started unfolding during a recent African Union Summit in Ethiopia when Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete told a meeting on the sidelines of the conference that both Rwanda and Uganda should discuss with FDLR and ADF respectively.

The comments not only ruffled feathers in Kigali but also triggered a wave of anger across Rwanda.

“ADF is attacking Uganda and FDRL is doing the same to Rwanda so efforts should be made to end such attacks. Talks should be held between governments and rebels hiding in the DRC where they launch attacks against their countries of origin. Military operations against the rebels will not yield fruit,” said Kikwete.

Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister swiftly made a counterattack, describing Kikwete’s statements as “aberrant” and “shocking.” “Those who think that Rwanda today should sit down at the negotiating table with FDLR simply don’t know what they are talking about,” charged Mushikiwabo in an interview with Radio France Internationale (RFI).

Kagame said then that “speaking casually and calling on us to negotiate with the killers of our people is utter nonsense.”

Speaking at the graduation ceremony of 45 army officers at the Rwanda Defence Forces Staff and Command College, the President described Kikwete’s idea as dancing on the “mass graves of our people.”

Though he did not mention Kikwete, Kagame maintained proposals that Rwanda should hold talks with FDLR are premised on “ignorance” and “ideological problems.”

“I kept quiet for the contempt I have for it (FDLR talks) because I thought it was utter nonsense spoken out of ignorance. We must be left to live our lives the way Rwandans want to live them,” charged Kagame. He further said “RPF did not seek revenge when it had every reason to be tempted…I don’t think anybody should be having issues with us.”

Kagame was referring to the post-genocide era after RPF had defeated and overthrown the regime of Juvenal Habyarimana.


Meanwhile, Kagame urged the RPF National Executive Council to examine both the path and methods used towards achieving its goal of development for all and the impact geopolitics continues to have on Rwanda.

“We can choose to be satisfied with making the least effort, staying where we are and remaining dependent for the rest of our lives even if that means being mistreated. You can choose to be defined by others or you can choose to be who you deserve to be. Our history has taught us the right choice. RPF made the choice to work hard to achieve the dignity Rwanda wants and deserves. We will only be able to benefit from hard work,” said Kagame.

President Kagame added that Rwanda cannot afford to move at a slow pace:

“Our situation does not allow us to take our time. We must work with a sense of urgency to achieve our goals.”

Speaking on the topic of reconciliation and forgiveness, President Kagame challenged those who claim that all Hutus were forced to apologize for the Genocide against the Tutsi during YouthConnekt event held on 30th June.

“Why should you have a problem with someone asking for forgiveness on your behalf but not with the one who killed in your name? We are not putting the blame on you, it is those who perpetuated crimes in your name who put the blame on you. The crime was not simply the killing but the silence of many in the face of the persecution of the innocent. Asking for forgiveness for choosing silence while a crime was committed in your name is the right thing to do.”

President Kagame concluded by reminding the RPF National Executive Council of their responsibility as leaders to deliver results and put the interest of Rwandans above any other:

“We want to build a new Rwanda. One that is not just based on empty words but on achievements.”

Header advertisement

Header advertisement
To Top