Speaking at the annual New Year's reception for the Diplomatic Corps on Friday evening, President Kagame said, "We are heading for the end of the transition period. At the same time, we shall have the conclusion of the constitution-making process and a new constitution that will provide the guidelines for the political situation that will unfold after the end of the transition." He said that the draft constitution would be presented to Cabinet and the National Assembly, and thereafter to the people of Rwanda in a referendum by May this year.
President Kagame appealed to the International Community to support this process, saying, "It is my intention to request the International Community to continue to support Rwanda in carrying through with these meaningful and historic processes, which will deliver on the expectations of both the people of Rwanda and the International Community."
President Kagame said that despite the many challenges Rwanda faces, he is confident that these processes would take place in a peaceful environment. "We are also planning and ensuring that we have all this done in a peaceful environment, despite the challenges we still face. But there is no doubt that given the weight of these events, we shall ensure that everything takes place in a peaceful environment," adding that the Government of National Unity has over the last nine years put all the pillars in place to ensure peace and stability within the country.
On the challenges that still lie ahead, President Kagame noted that the establishment of a national unity government in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is crucial for regional peace and stability. "We believe that the establishment of a transition government of national unity in the Congo will be very helpful not only to the Congo itself, but also its neighbours. It would give hope to the people of Congo and help deal with the problems that have been originating from there, affecting the security of Rwanda. This would also help in disarming ex-FAR and Interahamwe, and will also lead to the final conclusion of the repatriation and reintegration process," Kagame said.
On the domestic front, President Kagame said that Rwanda has registered many significant developments in a number of areas over the last nine years. He said, "We have been able to build a firm foundation on which we are going to be able to carry out a meaningful political, social and economic transformation of Rwanda. We have realized progress in the areas of justice, reconciliation, economic development and poverty reduction. We have also made significant headway in dealing with democratization, and also the decentralization process which we believe is one of the important pillars in building democracy in Rwanda."
The annual New Year's reception for the Diplomatic Corps was also attended by the President of the Transitional National Assembly Dr. Vincent Biruta, the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Bernard Makuza, the President of the Supreme Court Hon. Simeon Rwagasore and Government Ministers.