By: DR David Himbara
Reality has finally caught up with Rwandan strongman, General Paul Kagame. He is unquestionably an outcast in the international community. Global leaders are no longer swayed by General Kagame’s public relations campaign that cleans up his image in Western capitals.
On December 19, 2022, the government of France unequivocally condemned General Kagame’s role in wars, conflicts and deaths in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the following words: “We condemn Rwanda’s support for M23 and want to see the full implementation of the Nairobi Process and the Luanda Roadmap.”
On December 20, 2022, Germany similarly called on the Kagame regime to stop its sponsorship of the M23 militia. Christoph Retzlaff, the Director for Sub-Saharan Africa & the Sahel at the Federal Foreign Office, said: “The situation at Rutshuru in the East of DRC remains disastrous because the ceasefire is not respected and M23 does not implement its withdrawal announcement. Germany expects Rwanda to immediately cease all support for M23 and contribute to a quick solution to the crisis.”
And on December 9, 2022, Belgium had already issued a strong statement on the matter: “Belgium calls on Rwanda to cease all assistance to the M23 and to continue to use all the means at its disposal to persuade it to re-engage in a process of disarmament, demobilization and community reintegration.” Meanwhile, Maria Arena, the Belgian MEP in the European Parliament, and Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights has issued the following statement: “Deciding to release €20 million in support of the Rwandan army [in Mozambique] without asking it for a prior commitment and a withdrawal of its support for M23 is unacceptable!”
France, Germany, and Belgium have now joined the United States in demanding that Kagame stops fueling atrocities in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In his visit to Rwanda on August 11, 2022, the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken revealed that he discussed with General Kagame “the credible reports indicating that Rwanda continues to support the M23 rebel group and has its armed forces inside the DRC.” More recently, on December 20, 2022, Ambassador Robert Wood, the US Alternative Representative for Special Political Affairs at the UN called for “an end to state support for armed groups, including Rwanda’s support to M23.”
What is next for the Rwandan strongman in the international community where he is an outcast? Stay tuned.