Rwanda suggests Kenya use
`There's no time to go into niceties and debates when killings
are taking place'
Jan 31, 2008
Reuters News Agency
Kigali, Rwanda – The president of Rwanda, which experienced a
genocide in 1994, says intervention by the military might be the
only way to halt Kenya's escalating ethnic bloodshed.
"This is a case of emergency where certain things have to be done
very quickly to stop the killings that are going on," President
Paul Kagame said in an interview.
"There's no time to go into niceties and debates when the killings
are taking place."
Unrest in Kenya since President Mwai Kibaki's disputed re-election
on Dec. 27 has killed about 850 people and displaced over 250,000.
Kagame said Kenya ought to learn a lesson from Rwanda's bloody
"It starts with five deaths, then 10, then 50, shortly it grows to
100, then it goes to thousands. ... By the time you realize, it
has a dimension that is wiping out life in villages and
communities and is getting out of control and the whole political
situation is in a mess," he said.
Though Kenyans are horrified by the brutal events in their usually
peaceful nation, the situation is far from the ethnic slaughter
that killed 800,000 in Rwanda in a three-month killing spree that
shocked the world in 1994.
Kagame said the Kenyan army might have to take over before things
"I know that it is not fashionable and right for the armies to get
involved in such a political situation. But in situations where
institutions have lost control, I wouldn't mind such a solution,"
"I tend to believe that the Kenyan army is professional and has
been stable," he added in the interview.
Kagame, a former rebel leader who marched on Rwanda's capital
Kigali as the genocide was taking place, said he backed mediation
efforts headed by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, and that
any military takeover should be only temporary. Kenya's feuding
politicians were to hold a second day of talks brokered by Annan
The top U.S. diplomat for Africa yesterday urged Kibaki and
opposition leader Raila Odinga to forge a compromise at mediation
and said ethnic retaliation had "gone too far."
"There has been an organized effort to push out people from Rift
Valley. ... It is clearly ethnic cleansing," Jendayi Frazer, U.S.
assistant secretary of state for African affairs, said in Ethiopia.
Kibaki will travel to Ethiopia tomorrow to attend a meeting of the
53-nation African Union, expected to be dominated by the crisis in
As with other countries in the region, Rwanda's economy has been
affected by the chaos in Kenya, as goods and fuel that travel by
road from the Indian Ocean coast have been blocked.
Kenyan Internal Security Minister George Saitoti said yesterday
police would tolerate no more violence and would ensure railways
and roads, economic lifelines for Kenya's neighbours, remained