Kagame speaks about how he warned Tshisekedi regarding rockets fired into Rwanda

By Esther Muhozi
On 16 March 2024 at 02:25

President Paul Kagame has revealed that he once met with Félix Tshisekedi, his counterpart of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya where he warned him about the rockets launched in Musanze District in March 2022.

As the President explained in an interview with James Smart of NTV Kenya, he gave this warning to Tshisekedi in 2022 when they met during a summit of East African Community heads of state in Nairobi, Kenya.

President Kagame reminded that he has often stated that if anyone attempts to jeopardize Rwanda’s security, he will make a decision within his responsibilities as the Head of State to protect it.

He said, "I have often said on camera that if Rwanda’s security is compromised, I will not ask anyone for permission to do what I must do to protect Rwanda."

The President continued, "The Armed Forces of the DRC fired on our territory three times in 2022 using heavy weaponry. It happened once, we advised in Nairobi, and the President of Congo was there."

"I told him, ’This is enough’; he gave explanations, and I told him, ’One time with explanations is enough, no problem.’ I told him if it happens a second and third time, and it continues, it will be a different story."

After warning Tshisekedi, rockets from the DRC were again fired into the Musanze District in May and June 2022.

He said, "I think he did not take it seriously because after leaving the meeting, it happened a second and third time. Heavy artillery missiles, BM21 missiles landed on our territory, killing civilians in the north."

President Kagame explained that the message he gave to Tshisekedi was clear, so what he had to do after the third time missiles were fired into Northern Rwanda, was to take measures to protect the country’s security.

He told the journalist that while the DRC government accused Rwanda of sending troops to North Kivu Province, influential countries contacted him advising on what to do, to which he responded that he would do whatever possible to prevent further missiles from being fired onto Rwandan territory.

He said, "These influential people with power called me, telling me what I should and shouldn’t do. I told them, ’I hear you, I appreciate it,’ but I also told them that I would do whatever possible to ensure that no heavy weaponry fires onto Rwandan territory again. That is my responsibility, that’s why I am President, and even before I was President, I contributed to the struggle to bring positive changes to this country."

President Kagame stated that Rwanda seeks peace and wishes to contribute to solutions to existing problems, through peaceful means more than anyone else would desire.

President Kagame with Kenyan journalist, James Smart with whom they had a conversation.