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After Rwanda's UN Win, FM Mushikiwabo Tells ICP Hege Leak "Predictable"

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 18 -- After Rwanda won 148 votes and a two-year UN Security Council seat, Inner City Press asked Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo about the leaking, two days before the election, of the report of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Group of Experts headed by Steve Hege.

  Minister Mushikiwabo said that the leak before the election was "predictable" and called Hege "problematic" and suffering from an "ideological hangover."

  Inner City Press previously identified and linked to Hege's writings from 2009 downplaying the danger posed by the FDLR militia -- once linked to, the article was taken off the Internet.

  Mushikiwabo said the DRC's attempt, by charge d'affaires Charlotte Omoy Malenga, to interrupt the voting by saying Rwanda was not qualified was a product of "frustration." She said that DRC should see Rwanda being on the Security Council as value added.

  Inner City Press asked Mushikiwabo about her previously criticism of the MONUSCO peacekeeping mission: how should it be changed? She said Rwanda is not entering as a revolutionary. But on some issues, the Security Council and wider UN need to be shaken up. Watch this site.

Update: a Friend on Inner City Press made this transcript:

Inner City Press: Wanted to ask you, first of all what do you think of DRC's comment before the vote and also this Sanctions Committee report that came out two days before the voting what do you think of the timing of its leaking, what’s behind it and what steps do you intent to take when you’re on the Council?

FM Mushikiwabo: First of all, I think the attempt by DRC to interrupt the voting process is unfortunate but its not surprising to Rwanda. We’ve been dealing with the problems in the DRC for quite some time now. I believe the DRC should see Rwanda on the Security Council as value addition. We come to this body quite a bit of background experience and our own suggestion on how to bring lasting stability for the DRC and the region. So, we [see it] as a gesture of frustration and we do hope that now that the vote has been cast the DRC will have the same positive attitude as we have in terms of finding positive solutions to their issues.

Inner City Press: What about the report that came out and if it was related to the election?

FM Mushikiwabo: We in Rwanda tend to separate this report of so-called experts from our own standing in the UN system. This report is flawed because of individuals its not a matter of the UN system as a whole and we made it clear that the coordinator of this group of experts is a man whose problematic. He has an ideological hangover. He has done a job that we do not expect from anyone working for the UN and we will deal with that in the appropriate channel and the right time. I think the leak before this kind of vote is predictable, it’s part of the manipulation, its part of the attitude but we are happy, Rwanda is happy that most people in this UN are reasonable.

Inner City Press: You spoke before about MONUSCO, how would you try to reform it?

FM Mushikiwabo: Rwanda is not coming on the Security Council to bring revolution. We are just here to work with other countries, to give our own ideas on what needs to be done. Rwanda has quite the bit of experience in peacekeeping. We also know our region in the continent very well. We’ve been in both Sudan’s now we have contributed a large number of troops just to 4,000 for Darfur. Since 2006 we are now also in South Sudan, we will have police presence in Haiti, we’ve been in Liberia and so I think in all modesty have some ideas. So we just hear to propose some of the good practices we have seen with our own troops but by all means we are here to make a contribution not to change things.

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