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GoR statement in response to leaked UN Group of Experts interim report

Kigali, 27 June 2012; Rwanda’s foreign minister and government spokesperson Louise Mushikiwabo has said that it was deeply regrettable that the media frenzy over Rwanda’s alleged involvement in the DRC has forced the hasty publication of an interim report without giving the government the opportunity to analyse its contents and respond in a systematic fashion.

“This is a one-sided preliminary document based on partial findings and is still subject to verification. The UN Group of Experts has accepted our invitation to Kigali to do what should have been done before; carry out relevant consultations and obtain the facts. We intend to provide factual evidence that the charges against Rwanda are false. These, as well as Rwanda’s own allegations, will hopefully be reflected in the final UN report due in November.”

Minister Mushikiwabo said blaming Rwanda diverts attention from the root causes of the crisis in the DRC and serves only to fan the flames of conflict. She expressed concern that real issues are getting lost in accusations while the situation on the ground is deteriorating.

“It is demonstrably against Rwanda’s interests to do anything that would risk destabilising the region. We have worked vigorously with our Congolese counterparts to try and head off the rebellion. When violence broke out, we counseled the Congolese, MONUSCO and non-state actors to tread carefully. They failed to listen. Instead, as the Congolese Army proved unable to contain the mutiny, Kinshasa and its allies resorted to pointing the finger at Rwanda.”

Minister Mushikiwabo pointed out that from the outset Rwanda had made clear that the interference of non-state actors has the potential to be disruptive and dangerous.

“Sadly, this has become the case in this instance. In our corner of the world, words quickly become deeds and anti-Rwanda rhetoric carries grave consequences. Just last week, a group of young Rwandan citizens were dumped at the border post in Rubavu after weeks of torture at the hands of the Congolese army. More hateful attacks can be feared as calls for Congolese worldwide to “kill the Tutsis” are being propagated over the internet.”

Minister Mushikiwabo reiterated Rwanda’s commitment to peace and stability in the region.

“Nothing matters more to the government and people of Rwanda than maintaining hard-won regional security needed to build a society and economy capable of meeting the aspirations of our citizens.”

END


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