Rwanda will intervene in DR Congo whenever threatened: Kagame

Report
from Agence France-Presse
Published on 07 Dec 1998
KIGALI, Dec 7 (AFP) - Rwanda will intervene militarily in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) whenever its security is threatened, Rwanda's Vice President and Defence Minister Major General Paul Kagame said.
"We should be able to fight for restoration of our national security. Whenever that is threatened, we should be able to fight," he told AFP and the BBC in an interview late Sunday.

"The issue is not to fight for the fall of (DRC President Laurent) Kabila, or to fight for the installation of one person. The issue is the concern we have for our security," Kagame declared.

"For us it is a matter of our security, and once that is provided, we will have no business continuing to fight in Congo," he said.

A Tutsi-led rebellion against Kabila's rule began in the DRC in August. Angola, Chad, Namibia and Zimbabwe have sent forces in support of Kabila, while Rwanda and Uganda back the rebels.

Kagame said Rwanda would continue to search for a peaceful solution to the conflict.

But warned: "The present situation demands that we fight for our security and I'm sure Kabila knows that very well.

"I'm also sure that the rebels know that we have a right to our security, and therefore whether they take over or they are simply part of the outcome, they know that it is paramount for us to have peace."

Kagame said: "I don't see a total winner in this situation," adding: "It should be very clear to everyone that there is a need for a negotiated settlement."

The rebels, who launched their insurgency on August 2, hold much of the east of the vast DR Congo, an area bordering Rwanda, its much smaller neighbour.

The government in Kigali admitted a month ago that it had troops in the DRC but said they were there to protect Rwanda's national security. Ethnic Tutsis head the Rwandan government as well as the rebel movement in DRCongo.

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