"Rwanda has done all it could do on Burundian situation" – Minister Mushikiwabo
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Louise Mushikiwabo, has said that Rwanda has done all it could do to help solve the Burundian current situation. She made the remarks in Press Conference with local and international media.
Minister Mushikiwabo who also serves as the Government Spokesperson told journalists that Rwanda kept quiet about the Burundian situation because it’s for Burundians to take the first step to solve their own problems:
“Our wish is for Burundi to be peaceful for those who have sought refuge in Rwanda to repatriate and for the region to advance.”
Minister Mushikiwabo further pointed out that after the Burundi crisis will have been solved, Rwanda will proceed with engaging the Burundian government in discussions about diplomatic relations between the two countries. She stressed that Rwanda always wants to have commendable diplomatic ties with its neighbours.
On the accusations that Rwanda shelters Burundian failed coup plotters, the Rwandan Government Spokesperson reminded the media that it’s almost natural that Rwanda is a gateway for Burundians who are seeking refuge. She reaffirmed that Burundi has to be more willing to live peacefully with its neighbouring countries.
“Burundi’s problem is not Rwanda. When leaders take decisions, they should be able to live with the consequence. We are not insensitive to the lives of Burundians. We just don’t have the mandate. Rwanda has done all it could do. The priority is for the leadership in Burundi to bring the country back on track. We believe that the situation is temporary.”
Minister Mushikiwabo acknowledged that the East Africa Community and the rest of the world have not been able to effectively find a solution to the crisis. She observed that with the alarm of the situation not improving quickly, regional and international players might come together to find sustainable solution.
The Minister also explored a broad range of issues from Rwanda-France relations to Democratic Front for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) forces who are still roaming in eastern DRC.
On Rwanda-France diplomatic ties, Minister Mushikiwabo reiterated that as far as France’s relations with Rwanda are concerned, the French have not always been on the right side of history and therefore have to recommit to improved bilateral ties with Rwanda.
“When we (Rwanda) said that we want to move forward, it was with absolute sincerity. We want France to do the same.”
The Minister welcomed DRC’s recently pledged commitment and collaboration to solve the FDLR problem. Defense Ministers from the two countries are engaged in talks over the matter; Rwanda looks forward to meaningful outcomes.