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"We are ready to fight," President Kagame responds to DRC

Rwanda's President Paul Kagame gives a press conference at Kigali Convention Centre in Kigali, Rwanda, Monday, April 8, 2024   -  
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Brian Inganga/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved

Paul Kagame

In an exclusive interview with France 24, Rwandan President Paul Kagame declared Rwanda's readiness to go to war with the Democratic Republic of Congo if necessary, stating, 'they are ready to fight and are not afraid of anything.'

This follows accusations from Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi, who claimed Rwanda is organizing a genocide in Eastern DRC. Kagame responded by accusing Tshisekedi of promoting a genocidal ideology against Congolese Tutsis.

Kagame also refused to confirm the presence of Rwandan soldiers in the DRC, emphasizing the need to address the root causes of regional tensions.

As he prepares for a fourth term in the upcoming July 15 presidential election, Kagame denied claims that the election is rigged and rejected accusations of repressing and assassinating opponents. He asserted his government's commitment to free and fair elections.

These statements underscore the rising tensions between Rwanda and the DRC and highlight the challenges facing Kagame as the election approaches."

The decades-long conflict in eastern Congo has produced one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, with over 100 armed groups fighting in the region, most for land and control of mines with valuable minerals. Some are fighting to try to protect their communities. Many groups are accused of carrying out mass killings, rapes and other human rights violations.

The violence has displaced about 7 million people, including thousands living in temporary camps like the one that was attacked last month. Many others are beyond the reach of aid.