Kagame says he is 'prepared for the worst' if there's no solution to DRC standoff

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President Paul Kagame. (Photo: Gallo Images)
President Paul Kagame. (Photo: Gallo Images)
  • Kagame said he wished for a lasting solution, but was "prepared for the worst".
  • He urged parties to stick to the facts and find the best way out of the conflict.
  • Angola will on Wednesday hold talks to bring the Rwandan and DRC presidents together.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame says, if the diplomatic standoff with his Democratic Republic of Congo counterpart Felix Tshisekedi is not resolved amicably, it could "find me prepared for the worst".

Kagame was speaking live on the state-run Rwanda Broadcasting Agency on Monday, as his country combined Independence Day celebrations with Liberation Day.

He said:

I wish for the best for all of us, Congo and Rwanda. But if the best doesn't come, it should always find me prepared for the worst. That is the first way I approach it. I prepare for the worst but wish for the best, and I mean it.

Relations between the two countries have had episodes of strains backdating to the 1994 Rwandan genocide which saw an influx of refugees into eastern DRC.

However, relations seemed to improve after the DRC was admitted into the East African Community in April - joining Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, South Sudan, and Uganda.

But again, relations deteriorated as DRC began battling M23 rebels in the east. Historically, the rebels have been linked to Rwanda by United Nations investigators.

Meanwhile, Rwanda accuses DRC of working with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a rebel group led by the remnants of the 1994 genocide.

Since May, there has been shelling of the countries, with each other trading accusations.

In his address, Kagame said there was "no magic solution" to the current scenario.

"There's no magic solution here for me other than presenting the facts as I understand them, and the facts have been presented. It is up to the players concerned with the problem, whether they are Congolese or Rwandans, or the internationals involved, in one way or the other to stick to the facts and find the best way out of this problem based on the facts," he said.

READ | Kagame says 'no problem' Rwanda excluded from joint DRC force

Bintou Keita, the head of UN’s Stabilisation Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) last week told the UN Security Council that the two countries should "seize the upcoming summit to be hosted by President João Lourenço of Angola in Luanda as an opportunity to mend tensions through dialogue".

The summit gets underway on Wednesday and will be chaired by Angolan President João Lourenço. It is expected to map a way forward in relations between the two countries.

The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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