Kabila said it was “an open secret” that Rwanda was supporting M23 rebels that recently captured Bunaganana and other towns in Eastern Congo from Congo troops.
“I am very sure about the Rwandan support to the rebellion of M23. I am not in doubt. This is an open secret,” Kabila said.
He further accused Uganda of supporting the rebellion, saying he had expressed his concern with Ugandan authorities.
Kabila said Uganda vehemently denied supporting the rebels.
Asked how he would contain the deteriorating situation in Congo, Kabila said he would use a multi-pronged approach.
“We shall use political, military and diplomatic or all the three,” said Kabila, sparking fears he could have made up his mind on taking the path of war against the rebels.
The DRC’s President did not exhibit any intentions of seeking peace with the rebels.
Kabila has just concluded an official visit to Angola where he called upon President Eduardo Do Santos for “help against M23 rebels.”
Germany, United States and UK have cut aid to Rwanda following a UN report that Kigali was sending recruits and military logistics to support the mutinous Congo rebels.
Speaking at public function, Chimpreports.com reports, Mushikiwabo said Rwanda would not be bulldozed by westerners simply because they of aid.
“We’re working towards getting off aid. This parent-to-child relationship has to end. No more dangling of cheques. We are not Kids. We expect the West to treat us with respect and dignity,” she said.
“Dignity has made us lift one million Rwandans from poverty in the past 10 years. Dignity is not a word Africans can afford to play,” said Mushikiwabo.
“Why is it so easy to do certain things in our part of the world; than it is in other parts of the world? While donors can still wave cheque books over our heads, we can never be equal. We have to have a say as a country and as a region that we have our own dignity,” she added.
Mushikiwabo said as a country, no one can stop them from achieving their goals.
“We are going the direction of a better life; we don’t want anything to stop us. Not those sitting in Washington. We welcome alliances, but we aspire for equality in those relationships,” she emphasized.
“Rwanda does not want to be left alone but we’ll not accept to be treated as children.”
She said Rwanda has contributed immensely towards peace building missions in the world and would not at the same time start wars.
Mushikiwabo said Rwanda has 3254 peacekeepers and is ranked 8th largest peacekeeping missions troops contributor in the world.
Mushikiwabo noted the narrative being advanced by the West about Africa especially Rwanda is quite shocking.
“We have a difficult past that our people try to run from. Please allow us to be Rwandan. Do not define us by our clans. After the genocide, the rest of the world want to take us back to where we are running from,” said Mushikiwabo.
She was surprised that “others are creating a narrative about Africans and we are not allowed to question it or debate it.”
Mushikiwabo advised that “it may be Rwanda today, but tomorrow it will be somewhere else,” adding, “all Africans should find cause for concern.”
“Africans travelling to the West are humiliated as they seek for Visas. It’s the height of humiliation in the way Africans are treated while travelling to the west. It’s torture,” she added.
“The attitude of the west deciding in our fate is not acceptable because there is a tendency to think that Africans can be treated in a certain way. Sometimes, I think that we Africans are too nice; too good. When you refuse to be treated in a way that you shouldn’t be treated, it is interpreted as arrogance. “How? It is not acceptable,” said Mushikiwabo.
“We have been able to rebuild our country – thanks to aid, we are not ungrateful. We Africans must reject this parent to child relationship that if you don’t behave, I’ll take away your candy. There has to be a minimum respect. Some of the aid that is being suspended has not even been delivered,” she humiliated the donors.
“We have been through worse times and have come out stronger than ever. When you refuse to be treated in a way that you shouldn’t be treated, it is interpreted as arrogance,” she said.
RWANDA WON’T STARVE
Mushikiwabo noted since 1994 Rwanda has moved from being a 100% donor-aid-budget- support to funding its own 50%.
“If they withdraw their aid, I don’t think Rwandans will starve. They say they are partners and on the other hand dangling cheques and telling us to behave and if we don’t they will withdraw aid,” Mushikiwabo blasted the west.
The Minister surprised Kenyans when she revealed that 96% of Rwandans have access to healthcare.
She added: “The current crisis in DRC is the international community’s making. They are running away from a crisis of their making,” she reiterated President Paul Kagame’s views on the DRC conflict.
Regarding reports that President Kagame would face war crimes at ICC for abetting and supporting M23 rebels, Mushikiwabo informed the world that that’s one of the reasons Rwanda is not a signatory to the Rome Statute.
“We in Rwanda have absolutely rejected the ICC from the beginning and to date we feel justified. There’s no amount of approval from the outside that will make you who you are,” she added.
She described as “baseless and false,” UN allegations that Rwanda is giving ammunitions to mutineers in Eastern Congo.
“We are not funding rebels in Eastern Congo. There is absolutely zero evidence of Rwanda’s involvement. English speaking soldiers in clean uniform is not evidence enough to allege Rwanda government’s involvement in the DRC.”
“We can only support but we cannot create a solution for DRC. We have a small country to run; we can’t run another big country next door. We have fought war with Congo but we have also made peace with them. It’s up to Congo to decide what to do, but we can’t decide. We’ll support their decision,” said Mushikiwabo.
Succession and rwanda women
On whether she would stand for President in 2017, Mushikiwabo said: “I don’t think I am ready to do that job now. Being President you have to be ready not to be popular. President Kagame doesn’t mind not being popular and majority of Rwandans appreciate him for that,” she said.
She hailed Kagame for being “so wonderful to women” to an extent that 56% and 40% of Rwandan Parliament and cabinet respectively are women.
“President Kagame has been wonderful with women and has led by example by involving women in all areas of development. African women are very hard working, and are very connected to the entire development process,” she said.
In her conclusive remarks, Mushikiwabo said a solution to the DRC crisis should be less complicated than the problem lest a more complicated problem arises.
“Rwanda needs peace as much as DRC, and therefore ready to support a peaceful solution,” she said.