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When Paul Kagame calls Gaddafi a “monster”

By The Africa Report
Posted on Friday, 21 October 2011 16:23

The Africa Report early this month spoke to Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda about Western countries’ decision to intervene in Libya on the side of rebels fighting the late strongman Muammar Gaddafi after hob knobbing with him for some time.

In the interview Kagame describes Gaddafi as a “monster” among them.

Below are excerpts of the interview.

The Africa Report: You have supported military operations in Ivory Coast and Libya this year. Isn’t that a major U-turn?

Paul Kagame:: We know our continent’s weaknesses as well, and we know what is right.

In some cases, while the UN, France or the big powers might be wrong and do wrong things, we also know that situations sometimes invite it.

There is nothing I can do about it other than saying the intervention of either the UN or France might be wrong but is better than having the situation in Ivory Coast where people are constantly killing each other.

You have to choose between two wrong things and make do with the one that’s less evil than the other.

The lessons I am talking about for the Africans, for the Libyans, for the leaders especially, it’s better to watch out.

The Africa Report: Is the West guilty of double standards in Libya?

Paul Kagame: Actually (Muammar)Gaddafi and the way the West has been behaving are similar in a way.

For example, Gaddafi was the pariah, with the whole West against him.

Later, they make a deal and Gaddafi was brought back into the limelight.

The whole world starts praising him, saying he’s the man to do business with, he has given up the weapons of mass destruction. So they bring him in.

I think the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) was seeing the situation as ‘OK, Gaddafi’s back, we can do business with him etc.’, but at the same time this is a person who has been there for 42 years.

How much longer is he bound to be there? Nobody knows, and they’re trying to know which way to go.

They are helped by some voices rumbling in Libya.

So the citizen power now comes, they really take on this monster.

In a way, it’s a lesson for those overlooking ordinary people. You do it at your own peril.

They confronted tanks and guns. Again, this was a godsend for the West.

Not only are they going to safeguard their interests, they are going to be seen as the saviours, as people on the side of human rights, so it was a gift.

The lessons I am talking about for the Africans, for the Libyans, for the leaders especially, it’s better to watch out.

You need to have a barometer that keeps measuring the pressures in your society.

You can ignore it … you can be there for 10 years, you can be there for 20 years, but it will blow up in your face.

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