KIGALI, Rwanda — Twenty-one years after Rwanda's genocide, the country is still threatened by the rebels who carried out the killings and who live across the border in eastern Congo, Rwandan President Paul Kagame said Tuesday.
The international community has failed to rout out the Rwandan rebels accused of participating in the 1994 killings with the same decisive force that was used to defeat a different rebel group in eastern Congo in 2013, said Kagame.
The Rwandan president was speaking at a commemoration of the genocide which broke out on April 7, 1994, and which killed more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
Kagame has been Rwanda's president since 2000 and is credited with stabilizing the country and putting it on a path to prosperity. But he is also criticized for running an authoritarian regime which does not tolerate dissent.
The Rwandan leader said that at the end of 2013 the U.N. forces in eastern Congo crushed the M23 rebel group, which was barely a year old. Yet the rebels blamed for the genocide, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, continue to exist across the border in eastern Congo 21 years later.
Kagame complained that the U.N. had vowed to eradicate several rebel groups "causing havoc" in eastern Congo, "but this has not happened." He said the U.N. has made excuses for not dealing with the remaining rebel groups.
The Rwanda rebels of the FDLR had been given a six-month deadline to disarm by the U.N. That deadline expired in January but the U.N. and the Congo government have not mounted a military offensive against the rebels. The U.N. said that it could not cooperate with the Congo force because it was headed by officers implicated in human rights abuses. The Congo government has refused to replace those officers, resulting in a stalement and no action taken against the rebel group.