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TENSION BETWEEN RWANDA AND US: Kigali Asks For Clarification of US Position in Ongoing War

The Rwandan government have reacted strongly to the American Department of State communique released on Saturday February 17, 2024.

Rwandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a press release the next day and indicated that the US statement “offered a deeply biased vision of the reality, in flagrant contradiction with the spirit of the confidence-building process initiated by the Director of American National Intelligence in November 2023, creating a constructive framework for a de-escalation of the situation”.

Vincent Biruta, head of Rwandan diplomacy, expressed Rwanda’s desire to seek clarification from the American government to determine whether this declaration marks a turning point in its policy or simply comes from a lack of internal coordination.

Among the points that irritated the Rwandan authorities was on the designation of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR): “It was the American Department of State which added the FDLR – then known as ALIR (also known as Interahamwe and ex-FAR) – to its list of terrorist organizations under the Patriot Act, following the assassination and rape of eight Western tourists in Bwindi, Uganda, including two Americans,” Biruta recalled.

He also added that; “Qualifying this genocidal and terrorist organization as a simple ‘armed group’ designated as a ‘negative force’ by regional organizations and the government of the DRC is a shocking and cynical act of realpolitik, calling into question the capacity of States -United to serve as a credible mediator in the Great Lakes region.”

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