“Those people [Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete] you just heard siding with Interahamwe and FDLR and urging negotiations… negotiations? Me, I do not even discuss this topic, because I will just wait for you [Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete] at the right place and I will hit you! He[Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete] did not deserve my answer. I did not waste my time answering him…It is well known. There is a line you cannot cross, there is a line, a line that you should never cross. It is impossible…”“
It is in these ominous terms that the Rwandan dictator General Paul Kagame threatened to get even with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, while addressing Rwandan Youth on June 30, 2013 during a summit called “Youth Konnect”", sponsored by his wife, Janet Kagame.
Relations between Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and Rwandan leaders have soured in the last weeks. On several occasions Rwandan leaders called the Tanzanian President “a genocide and terrorist sympathizer”, “ignorant”, “arrogant”, and “mediocre leader”. The relations have deteriorated following the recommendation by President Jakaya Kikwete of open negotiations between Rwandan, Ugandan and Congolese leaders and their respective armed opposition in order to bring durable peace and security in the African Great Lakes region.
First the Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo and Defense Minister, James Kabarebe, publicly cursed the Tanzanian President and called him a sympathizer of “genocidaires”, a “genocide denier”, and other names.
Then, General Paul Kagame, while addressing a closed door meeting with his close aides, called the Tanzanian President “4Bs”, which in Rwandan language means “an opportunist, attention seeker, arrogant and contemptible person.”
The latest public threats by General Paul Kagame against the physical person of the Tanzanian President are arguably the most serious sign of how worse the relations among the two countries and the their leaders have become. According to sources in Kigali, General Kagame has also been frustrated by the attention Tanzanian President has been receiving from World powers. Until a few years ago, Rwanda and its dictator was the darling of the West. The attention from the West has since dwindled.
The recent visit by US President Barack Obama to Tanzania may have further increased the frustration and perhaps led to the grave public threats by General Paul Kagame against the Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete.
The upcoming days and months promise to be full of anticipation and sursprises in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
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