Kagame reveals details of his letter to US over rhetoric that distorts Genocide against Tutsi

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 8 April 2024 at 12:59

President Paul Kagame has revealed details of a strong-worded letter he wrote to the United States , urging the country to stop distorting facts about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Speaking during an engagement with the media on Monday, April 8, 2024, President Kagame said he had requested the US to be “kind enough” to commemorate with Rwanda every April 7 and avoid constant criticism of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) leadership during this special day.

"For me, that concern was answered long ago by making our position clear, maybe in 2014 or 2015 when we told them to be kind enough to commemorate with us on April 7 and have the rest of 365 days to blame us every day for everything they don’t like about us,” said President Kagame.

He was responding to a question from a local journalist who sought to know whether he discussed America’s failure to define the genocide against the Tutsi correctly during his recent meeting with former President Bill Clinton.

“We receive messages from all over the world joining us in the commemoration. At that time, we received a message that talked about, on one hand, Kwibuka and sympathizing with us, and then another part addressed issues about democracy, human rights, and everything that we are thought not to have in our country.”

“Our country wrote a letter back to the US. I am the one who authored that letter. The United States or any government of any country has the freedom to tell us what they want, whether we are happy about it or not. That is no problem, and we are always going to accept whatever is brought our way,” President Kagame stated.

He noted that the US or any other foreign state was free to criticize the country but not on the commemoration day dubbed “Kwibuka”.

"But I also told them an important thing: on this commemoration, we are grateful when you commemorate with us. But for these other points you are trying to make to us, we have one request which is important to us. We told them, ’Feel free to commemorate with us if you want, and feel free to tell us whatever you don’t like about us. But our request is one: when it’s the day of commemoration, which is April 7, can you be kind enough to commemorate with us and stop there,” he added.

“There are 365 days in a year; give us that day of April 7 to commemorate with us, and then you can have the rest of the 364 days to blame us every day for everything you don’t like. Just separate these things: blame us for the rest of the days of the year.’ I thought it was a fair deal. For me, that problem was solved that day.”

Yesterday, President Paul Kagame, in an apparent reference to the US, also condemned intentional vagueness in reporting of the genocide against the Tutsi, which he said plays a role in fueling denial.

“Rwandans will never understand why any country would remain intentionally vague about who was targeted in the genocide. I don’t understand that. Such ambiguity is, in fact, a form of denial, which is a crime in and of itself, and Rwanda will always challenge it,” Kagame stated during Kwibuka30.

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda