Carrying the burden of the DRC is like carrying the corpse of a hyena- President Kagame

By Esther Muhoozi
On 1 April 2024 at 05:13

President Paul Kagame has indicated that the issues of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are caused by the leaders of that country, asserting that they should be shouldered by the Congolese rather than Rwanda. He further emphasized that taking on the DRC’s problems is akin to carrying the corpse of a hyena.

This issue was addressed by President Kagame on April 1, 2024, during his conversation with Radio10 and Royal FM, in a discussion that covered various national concerns.

Journalist Aissa Cyiza asked President Kagame why the issues in the eastern DRC remain unresolved despite numerous discussions aimed at solving the situation, including agreements signed in Luanda, Angola, Nairobi, Kenya, and elsewhere, which have been largely ineffective.

President Kagame pointed out that the problem lies within the DRC itself, although people tend to focus only on the country’s eastern part. He highlighted that the issues in this region are due to the country’s leadership.

The President noted that while these problems are generally caused by the country’s governance, sometimes different leaders impose this burden on Rwanda.

However, he stated it is inappropriate and that the DRC’s burden should be borne by the Congolese and their leaders, not Rwanda or its leaders. "The burden should be on the Congolese and the leaders of Congo, not on Rwanda or the leaders of Rwanda. Rwanda has been carrying the burden of the DRC for a long time, and it is enough. Carrying the burden of Congo is like carrying the corpse of a hyena."

The President mentioned that Rwanda has many of its issues to solve, making it infeasible to take on the burdens of other countries, including those of the DRC, which continues to be imposed on Rwanda.

President Kagame described the problems of this country west of Rwanda as a mix of numerous political dynamics, including regional and international politics, sometimes leading to some countries preventing others from exploiting this nation’s wealth.

"The Europeans say if we don’t treat Congo well and give it everything it wants, even if it’s not reasonable, Congo will fall to the Chinese, to the Russians, accepting the evil of Congo and emulating it, and carrying its burden so others don’t have to carry it so they can do what they do there."

President Kagame expressed that whatever they do there and their cooperation does not bother Rwanda. However, he is concerned that those seeking to benefit from the DRC misuse Rwanda.

He mentioned that the issues in Congo are due to its leadership and the frequent changes in leadership, but even with these changes, nothing improves; the problems remain the same.

"Why do they do it if it yields nothing? What are they suffering from then? It’s said we have a problem because we have a leader who doesn’t change, but if nothing changes, even Rwanda will change. It’s about planning to ensure that this change does not become a reason for things not going well in Rwanda. A positive change is no problem."

Besides these, President Kagame talked about the oppression of Congolese who speak Kinyarwanda, particularly the Tutsis in this country, stating that the hunt against them all should remind them of the need for peaceful coexistence.

"Among themselves, they should not be divided into Tutsis and Hutus. Once they start seeing it that way, those who persecute them find a gap to mistreat them, and all of them suffer."

He stated that they should not have to ask for rights but should be granted them, asserting that the denial of these rights is why there are endless wars today, with people being killed and others becoming refugees in different countries. The President emphasized that the solution must come from the Congo, not Rwanda or even the United Nations.

President Kagame highlighted that another reason for the ongoing conflicts in the eastern DRC is the FDLR, who committed genocide in Rwanda but have been given a place in the country, provided with military equipment, with the goal of attacking Rwanda.

"This is not something we can solve; it is up to the DRC to address. We can only help in solving it. But what remains is to ensure that it does not adversely affect us and cause security issues. That is the responsibility we all bear."