US Condems Kagame’s Move To Extend Term; Kagame Hits Back
Jan 05, 2016 06:28 PM EST
Rwanda President Paul Kagame recently announced his intent to run for another term. The United States however is not happy with such decision.
According to News 24, Washington and the European Union have consistently expressed strong opposition to Kagame, once a darling of the West, running again, and had called on him to step aside in 2017 to allow new faces to emerge and democracy to flourish.
State Department spokesperson John Kirby added that President Kagame's decision to run "ignores a historic opportunity to reinforce and solidify the democratic institutions" which the Rwandan people have labored and established for more than 20 years.
Over 98 percent of the Rwandans voted in a referendum last December 18 that would lift term limits and allow Kagame to extend his power until 2034.
On his Twitter account, Rwandan President Kagame hits back at the US government saying foreigners should not determine the destiny of the Rwandan people and that he is not concerned that the US government is deeply disappointed.
In a series of tweets, Kagame posted "Africa's problems: poverty, disease, governance, technology . etc, etc will not easily be solved by what is behind this (deeply disappointed) attitude !!!"
He added that "many disappointing things happening across the globe we hope to carry our own burden and not be others' burden". He also promised to his people that they do not intend to disappoint.
According to US News, the United States has been a key ally of Rwanda. But in its response to Kagame's decision to run again, the State Department said it believes constitutional transitions of power are essential for strong democracies and that efforts by incumbents to change rules to stay in power weaken democratic institutions.
In reference to the vote of majority of the Rwandans, Kagame sent a message to his people, as posted in The Guardian, and said that "given the importance and consideration you (the people) attach to this, I can only accept."
Kagame became president of Rwanda since 1994 after his rebel movement ended the genocide of the Hutu extremists.