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Rwandan leader slams Western critics at swearing-in
Posted on Monday, September 06, 2010 @ 16:44:22 CDT by kwpnews

President Kagame criticised the west for dictating to Africans

KIGALI (Reuters) - Rwandan President Paul Kagame rejected on Monday accusations he has failed to safeguard human rights and vowed not to let Western critics of his rule influence the path of the central African country.

Kagame won 93 percent support in a presidential election last month after a campaign that opposition leaders and rights watchdogs said was marred by repression and violence.

He has been praised for rebuilding and restoring peace in Rwanda following the 1994 genocide, but critics say stability has come at the expense of free speech and a free media.

"It is difficult for us to comprehend those who want to give us lessons on inclusion, tolerance and human rights. We reject all their accusations," Kagame said after being sworn in for a second seven-year term.

"Self-proclaimed critics of Rwanda may say what they want, but they will neither dictate the direction we take as a nation, nor will they make a dent in our quest for self-determination," he said.

Kagame said a lack of democracy was not Africa's biggest problem, but rather a culture of donor dependency. He criticised Western governments and NGOs (Non Government Organisations) he said were accountable to no one for trying to impinge on the rights of sovereign nations to dictate policy.

Rwanda has been angered by a leaked draft United Nations report that said its troops may have committed genocide in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the 1990s.

Kagame's administration reacted by threatening to pull out all its troops from U.N. peacekeeping operations unless changes were made to the document.

At his inauguration ceremony in the Rwandan capital, attended by a dozen regional heads of state, Kagame said foreign powers continued to press for Rwanda's politics to be drawn up along ethnic lines, which he called a hangover from the colonial era.
"This approach may work elsewhere, but in our case, political divisionism and extremism led to the total devastation of our country," he said.

More than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered during the genocide that ended only after Tutsi-led fighters under Kagame took control of the country.

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