Tanzania Foreign Minister says Kikwete won’t apologise to Rwanda

Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete He recently expelled Rwandese from his country, a move that escalated tensions between the two countries.

Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete whose Call for Peace Talks Between Rwanda And FDLR has cause the Diplomatic Spat
Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete whose Call for Peace Talks Between Rwanda And FDLR has cause the Diplomatic Spat

President Jakaya Kikwete will not apologise to Rwanda or change his stand that the Rwandan government should negotiate with rebels.

The proposal was made in good faith, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation minister Bernard Membe told Parliament yesterday.

Mr Membe said there was no way the Head of State could apologise for saying the truth and stating a fact.

He reiterated Tanzania’s position that Rwanda had no option but to get into peace talks with rebels most of whom are fighting President Paul Kagame’s regime from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) forests.

He said fighting the rebels unsuccessfully for 17 years necessitated the need to negotiate with them.

According to Mr Membe, Tanzania sees the presence of such rebels in the DRC forests as a setback in the region’s peace process.

“Rwanda has opposed President Kikwete’s statement but the President will not apologise because his statement was based on facts….Rwanda should take this advice….Our President cannot apologise for saying the truth,” Mr Membe said shortly after Parliament endorsed the ministry’s Sh138.36 billion budget for 2013/14 fiscal year.

During last week’s 50th anniversary of the African Union in Addis Ababa, President Kikwete called on Rwanda to hold talks with Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels because the military option had failed to end the war with them.

Kigali has strongly opposed the proposal, with Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs minister, Ms Louise Mushikiwabo, quoted by Radio France Internationale (RFI) as describing Mr Kikwete’s remarks as “aberrant” and “shocking”.

She told RFI on Monday that Rwanda would not consider negotiating with people who were responsible for the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis.

“Those who think that Rwanda today should sit down at the negotiating table with FDLR simply don’t know what they are talking about,” she said.

She said it was unfortunate that the rebel group had sympathisers in the region, including President Kikwete.

She urged President Kikwete to retract his comments. She told RFI that she did not expect President Kikwete to suggest that Rwanda negotiate with “known terrorists” since he had served as a Foreign Affairs minister and knows the FDLR background.

She added that Mr Kikwete could be just another sympathiser for the group whose ideology is still being fought in Rwanda and worldwide. The chairman of Rwanda’s Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr Gideon Kayinamura, is also on record as having categorically stated that suggesting negotiations with the FDLR militias was a big insult to Rwandans.

Rwandans living in the US have also petitioned President Barack Obama not to listen to such positions and continue with support to Rwanda and the region to bring FDLR criminals to justice.

The US government has already reinstated a $5 million prize on the FDLR rebel leaders, like Sylvestre Mudacumura and labelled the group as a terrorist movement in the region.

But winding up the debate for his ministry’s budget in the National Assembly yesterday, Mr Membe said Mr Kikwete had no ill-intention in the proposal he made during the 21st African Union Summit on May 26.

According to him, it was high time Rwanda considered the fact that peace was made with enemies and that negotiations could only be made with enemies and not friends.

Mr Membe also told the National Assembly that the government would consider taking to DRC eight journalists to cover the country’s peacekeeper forces in the Eastern side of the country.

“Our forces in DRC are doing a wonderful job and have been received with jubilation and we hope they will keep the spirit alive by demonstrating our values and hospitality,” he said.

Mr Membe, however, noted that there was propaganda aimed at mudslinging Tanzanian forces and thus plans were underway to send reporters under army guidance to report their activities.

“We will soon send eight reporters to DRC where they will document activities by our forces which are already there of peace restoration in the eastern part of the country,” he said.

A total of 1,283 soldiers will be sent to Congo from Tanzania to form the UN Force Intervention Brigade made up of 3,069 soldier.

Source: Citizen Tanzania

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6 thoughts on “Tanzania Foreign Minister says Kikwete won’t apologise to Rwanda

  1. @mutuluuzapeter:disqus You are talking of negotiations but “Fait accompli” even the Nazi signed a peace treaty. M7 never wanted to negotiate with Kony but get him and kill him and the stupid Kony knew that. M7 never negotaited with Bazilio’s govt when he was invited in Nairobi. Kagame just won’t negotiate personal ego…Him and M7 are from the same school of thought…Bulldoze your way to power by eliminating anybody or anything that stands your way. The white supremacist caused havoc in SA but see how peaceful they are now after reconciliation.
    The one big thing with our power hungry,egoistic African heads of states they think humiliating your adversary or eliminating him is the ultimate solution Bokassa, Amin, Gadaffi,Ben Ali, Mubarak,Bozize name them worked all their lives to eliminate their opponents can anyone tell me where they are now??? We need democracy in Europe presidents change without any blood birth and their armies are national armies not partisan like we have. We Africans will always be behind if we don’t realize negotiations is the way forward. Simple example look at the mess in Kampala and the KCCA just because Musisi and Lukwago are all partisan politicians.

  2. Here it is another self African betrayal Jakaya Kikwete. While, Africans are trying to work hard to move the continent forward, Jakaya is instead trying to bring us back NEGATIVELY, to the 1994 Rwandan horrors by sympathizing with the genocide criminals. What a shame!!! We actually don’t even need his apology because he just showed to the entire world humanity especially the Rwanda genocide survivors his true COLORS. But as much as his stupid remarks were and still are SHOCKING, we were born resilient and always ready to strike any threats where ever it comes from. TO KNOW A DISEASE IS A HALF CURE. Good luck Mr. Jakaya Kikwete!!

    1. Yes there is 1994 horrors, but what about the horror during the 1st and 2nd congo war , where more than million of hutu refugees were killed by RPF? For us Tanzanian we view both RPF and FLDR as killing machines and our advice is for them to sit and stop these nonsense.

  3. High time somebody has to stand up to the bullying of the region by Rwanda and Uganda

  4. And truth be told, Hutus and Tutsis killed each other. It is easy to put the blame on FDLR because no one in Rwanda can oppose this view. But one day the whole truth will come out.

  5. especially now when all friends kagame was expecting are withdrawing from him, there is a day Rwandans will have a freedom to speak and truth will come out. you will be suprise to see very few people support kagame in rwanda, most of them veiw him as killer and dictator.

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