Kagame denies U.N. claims on atrocities

Sept. 17, 2010 at 11:40 AM
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LONDON, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- A draft U.N. report claiming that Rwandan forces acted indiscriminately in the wake of the 1994 genocide is nonsense, the Rwandan president said.

A Hutu militia killed an estimated 800,000 members of the Tutsi ethnic community and moderate Hutus in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. More than 1 million Hutus fled Rwanda to neighboring Congo in the wake of the slaughter.

Rwandan forces in 1996 invaded Congo to pursue those who carried out the genocide. A draft U.N. report accused the Rwanda military of violating the laws of war during the attack by failing to discriminate between refugees and rebel forces.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame told CNN that the U.N. allegations were baseless.

"The U.N. has always been wrong on the issue of Rwanda, not only in terms of statements, but in terms of actions they carried out or did not carry out when they were in Rwanda and the genocide took place," he said.

Kagame gained popularity when as a guerrilla leader he helped restore security to a country plagued by the genocide campaign.

Voters handed Kagame a second term as president in an August election. He won his first term as president in 2005 with 95 percent of the vote.

Kagame was in London where he delivered a lecture on nation-building in Africa.

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