A few days after the reopening of the borders between Rwanda and Uganda, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, in front of parliament, announced the normalization of relations with Burundi. An announcement accompanied by an astonishing message…
On Tuesday, Rwandan President Paul Kagame visited, without prior announcement, the Bunge - parliament - Rwandan. Kagame held a nearly 50-minute speech, during which he spoke about regional security and, above all, Rwanda's relations with its neighbours.
“What we hope for is peace for our country, for the region, and for everyone. But for those who want war with us, we are ready to fight. We have an army that is trained to do it and does it well, whether here (in Rwanda, editor's note) or abroad,” said Paul Kagame.
Urugwiro Village: President Kagame on regional security. pic.twitter.com/MkM97B7ge2
—Rwanda Updates (@RwandaUpdate10) February 8, 2022
Does the Rwandan head of state welcome the success of his military intervention in Mozambique? Is he threatening a neighboring country? Difficult to interpret the statements of the president. Because ifhe is sure that Paul Kagame likes to talk, and is not known to have his tongue in his pocket, his speech sounds like a threat.
On January 31, the borders between Uganda and Rwanda were reopened. If the desire to restore good neighborliness on the part of Kampala is understandable, the Rwandan Head of State did not fail to condition this diplomatic normalization: "We must not forget that these borders have not not been closed without reason. And we will continue to work with the Ugandan state to resolve our differences,” Kagame said.
As for the neighbor to the south, Burundi, Kagame announced the normalization of relations with Gitega "in the near future".
President #Kagame: In the near future, #Rwanda's relations with Burundi will get back to normal. It's still work in progress, and both sides are committed to see it through. pic.twitter.com/KCY49ZC6c8
— The New Times (Rwanda) (@NewTimesRwanda) February 8, 2022
The DRC in Kagame's line of sight?
So, everything seems to be going well in the best of all worlds. But then who does Kagame say he wants to make war on? According to the founder of the Congolese media Politico, Litsani Choukran, Paul Kagame would have, in his speech, threatened in half words the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
As a reminder, Paul Kagame had protested against his exclusion from the military agreement between Kinshasa and Kampala. The joint operation of the FARDC and the Ugandan army, in the east of the DRC, would fall under the Rwandan president of the security of his own country. Kagame had denounced, at the beginning of February, the fact that the rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) continue to act "with complete impunity".
Kigali has never hidden it: Rwanda absolutely wanted to participate in the operation in eastern Congo. Kagame had even threatened to intervene unilaterally. "There are times when we plead, there are times when we ask, but if necessary, we will act," said the Rwandan president on February 8.
According to him, “there is a link between the ADF, the FDLR and several other armed terrorist groups”. And Kagame also deplores that "some relatives of the M23 rebels are in the government, in Kinshasa, or live in the DRC".
But while the DRC and Uganda are constantly getting closer, will Rwanda risk jeopardizing its diplomatic opening up by launching hostilities against the DRC? In any case, Kagame's remarks aroused great anger in the DRC, even if his relationship with Félix Tshisekedi is in good shape.