Talk to Al Jazeera

Paul Kagame: ‘Rwanda has its own problems’

Rwanda’s president discusses allegations that his government is fuelling conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo an insurgency by the rebel M23 group of army mutineers threatens to plunge that part of the country into open conflict.
The rebel leaders all used to fight with another armed group, folded into the army three years ago. And they say, they mutinied to force the government to honour its agreement.
But now a panel of UN investigators has accused Rwanda of backing M23, apparently to try and create a friendly semi-autonomous state just over the border. The UN report claims that the group of mutineers allegedly received money, political backing, manpower and weapons from Rwanda.        

Paul Kagame, Rwanda’s president, recently appeared at a parade to celebrate the country’s 50th anniversary of independence. Although his country has repeatedly sent troops into the Congo in the past, he denies supporting anyone over the border now.

But the United Nations which is helping fight off the M23 rebels say they are too well-equipped and too well-trained to be just another bunch of Congolese soldiers.
If the crisis continues, the UN warns that it could spread into a regional crisis.

Today on Talk To Al Jazeera, President Paul Kagame defends his record and explains why his country is only interested in peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“We should not be accused of a mess in the DRC. If the DRC is messed up on the hands of its own leaders and lack of institution it should not be transferred to Rwanda …. Rwanda has its own problems to deal with, we don’t want to bare Congo’s problems. We can only work with Congo to address issues that affect both of us. But we cannot address problems of Congo …. I don’t want this problem to look as if it is now Rwanda fighting with the DRC, that’s not true. Rwanda is interested in stability and peace…”

undefinedThis episode of Talk to Al Jazeera can be seen on Al Jazeera English at the following times GMT: Saturday, July 21: 0430; Sunday, July 22: 0830, 1930; and Monday, July 23: 1430.

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