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Monday, 21 October, 2002, 15:48 GMT 16:48 UK
Rwanda threatens to return to DR Congo
Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, warned he may send his troops back to DR Congo
Rwandan President, Paul Kagame met the BBC's Tim Sebastian
Rwandan President Paul Kagame has repeated his threat to send troops back into the Democratic Republic of Congo after the recent upsurge in violence in the east of the country.


Rwandan troops first entered the country in 1998 in pursuit of militias, believed to be responsible for the Rwandan genocide.

Up to a million Rwandan Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in the massacres in 1994.


We'll target certain areas and certain positions to deal with that problem and just get out

President Kagame
But in October 2002, Rwanda withdrew all its troops from DR Congo as part of a peace agreement.

In return DR Congo had promised to disarm and repatriate Rwandan rebels believed to be responsible for the Rwandan genocide.

But violence has flared in the region as rival groups try to fill the power vacuum left by the withdrawal of Rwandan troops.

President Kagame said that if the safety and stability of Rwanda was again threatened he would not hesitate to send troops back.

He said: "Maybe in a different way from what we did last time. We'll be more specific, we'll target certain areas and certain positions to deal with that problem and just get out."

Promises

The peace deal reached between the two countries at Pretoria in July this year was aimed at making the border between the two countries safer.

DR Congo, President Joseph Kabila
Joseph Kabila: Achieving peace in the DRC is proving difficult
But the United Nations mission in DR Congo warned recently, that the resumption of fighting could threaten stability in the region and spill over into neighbouring countries, Rwanda and Burundi.

The fighting has been particularly vicious in and around the cities of Uvira and Bukavu on the eastern Congolese border.

Over the weekend the Rwandan-backed Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) regained control of Uvira, after it had been seized by the Mai-Mai militia.

Rwanda has claimed that rebels who fled to the DR Congo are members of the pro-government Mai-Mai fighters.

DR Congo's president, Joseph Kabila, denies supporting the Mai-Mai.


We've honoured our end of the agreement, he hasn't

President Kagame
President Kagame severely criticised President Kabila for not fulfilling the promises he made as part of the peace deal.

He said he had expected President Kabila to make sure rebel forces were "disarmed, demobilised and repatriated".

He said: "We've honoured our end of the agreement, he hasn't."

Riches

On Monday a United Nations panel called for financial sanctions to be imposed on companies who plunder the DR Congo's natural wealth.

The country is rich in natural resources including gold, diamonds and the rare metal coltan which is used in mobile phones.

Rwanda has been accused of exploiting coltan mines in the east of the country.

But speaking at the weekend, President Kagame denied the accusations and said that any investigation would show the allegations were unfounded.

This interview can be watched in full on Monday 21 October on BBC World and BBC News 24 at the following times:

BBC News 24 (times shown in BST) 0430, repeated 2230

BBC World (times shown in GMT) 0330, repeated 0830, 1130, 1530, 1830, 2330



HARDtalk with Tim Sebastian is broadcast Mon - Friday on BBC World and BBC News 24
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