UK Minister condemns Tshisekedi’s abusive comments on President Kagame

By Esther Muhozi
On 13 December 2023 at 04:21

The United Kingdom (UK)’s Minister of State for Illegal Migration, Michael Tomlinson criticized the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Félix Tshisekedi, for recent utterances targeting President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, likening him to Adolf Hitler.

During his presidential campaign in Bukavu on December 8, 2023, Tshisekedi accused President Kagame of attacking the eastern part of the DRC through the M23 armed group, going as far as comparing him to Hitler and suggesting a similar fate awaits him.

Four days after Tshisekedi’s comments, Minister Tomlinson, discussing the government’s plan to combat illegal immigration, including sending migrants to Rwanda, responded to a question about the DRC President’s statements during an interview with a Sky News reporter.

Tomlinson noted the diverse interpretations people have but emphasized that Tshisekedi’s characterization of Kagame was inappropriate, stating, "There are various ways to express concerns, and that is not one of them that I am familiar with. It does not align with our country’s stance."

Congolese leaders recently celebrated the British Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate the plan to send migrants to Kigali.

Patrick Muyaya, the spokesperson for the RDC Government, on November 15, 2023, claimed that Rwanda does not respect human rights and should not accept immigrants from the UK.

He expressed gratitude for the Supreme Court’s decision and questioned how a country with alleged human rights violations could welcome refugees.

Tomlinson continued to assert that Rwanda upholds human rights and meets international obligations, highlighting its reputation for doing so.

He was appointed a week ago to lead efforts against illegal immigration, succeeding Robert Jenrick, who resigned from the position.

The RDC government has long accused Rwanda of supporting M23 rebel group during clashes with the Congolese Army.

However, Rwanda denies these allegations and accuses Kinshasa of collaboration with FDLR, a terrorist outfit formed by individuals responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.