Rwanda's President Paul Kagame hit back on Monday at his international critics, using his inauguration for a second term to insist that Africa needed no lessons from the wider world.
Mr. Kagame told a crowd of around 40,000 packed into Kigali's main stadium that Western powers “criticise the good things we do and try to hold us responsible for the bad things they do”.
“Africans are capable of forging their own destiny; we don't need the lessons that we're always being given,” he said, hitting back at a barrage of criticism from the West and human rights groups over accusations that he brutally crushed dissent in the run up to his landslide election triumph.
“We can develop ourselves — we will achieve food security, develop trade and investment and build infrastructure,” assured the 52-year-old former rebel, whose attempts to modernise his country has drawn praise from economists.
Mr. Kagame swept the August 9 election with 93 per cent of the vote.
At the ceremony attended by around a dozen African heads of state, Mr. Kagame took the oath of office from President of the Supreme Court Alyosia Cyanzayire.
Among the attending dignitaries was President Joseph Kabila, whose Democratic Republic of Congo is the focus of a leaked U.N. report alleging that the Rwandan Army committed widespread atrocities, possibly amounting to genocide, there between 1996-98. Kigali rejected the charges. and threatened to withdraw its peacekeeping troops from Sudan if the U.N. publishes the report.
The U.N. human rights chief on Thursday said she would delay publication of the report to give the states concerned time to comment and the opportunity to have their comments published alongside the report.