Rwanda's Kagame attacks UN, Human Rights Watch

Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:37am GMT

By Adrian Croft

LONDON (Reuters) - Rwandan President Paul Kagame attacked the United Nations on Thursday over a leaked report saying Rwandan troops may have committed genocide and criticised a rights group that found fault with last month's election.

Rwanda threatened to pull out its troops from U.N. peacekeeping missions last month after the leaked report on crimes alleged to have been committed by various forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the 1990s, including the charge that Rwandan troops may have committed genocide.

Asked if the report damaged his legitimacy, Kagame said: "I don't imagine that my legitimacy is something that would just be washed away by such allegations."

Kagame, answering reporters' questions after giving a speech at London's International Institute for Strategic Studies, said the allegations in the U.N. report were "baseless and totally untrue and flawed in many ways, right from the authors of the report to the methods used".

"If there was anything to be questioned about anything that could have gone wrong either in the Congo or the Great Lakes region or particularly in Rwanda, it should have been the U.N. to really be held accountable for that," he said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took Rwanda's threat to withdraw peacekeepers so seriously he flew to Rwanda last week to talk to Kagame. Ban said they had agreed on the importance of Rwanda staying in peacekeeping operations.

Kagame said the countries mentioned in the report were working with the U.N. "to find where to place the problems they referred to".


<p>Rwandan President Paul Kagame shows his inked finger after casting his ballot during Rwanda's presidential election in Kigali August 9, 2010. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly</p>
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