France 24 host Catherine Nicholson on June 24 interviewed Rwanda President Paul Kagame alongside EU Development Commissioner Neven Mimica, at the European Development Days event in Brussels.
Her basis the European Union’s 2018 human rights report which highlighted “serious violations of civil and political rights” in Rwanda.
While Kagame dismissed the report as ridiculous, Catherine set out to play smart claiming “in the last quarter-century, Rwanda’s people, economy and development have moved on from the killings to such a point that the country is often held up to other nations undergoing conflict, violence and political turmoil as a positive example”.
Kagame who had tried to remain calm while Catherine interrupted him, said: “We have fought for human rights and freedoms of our people more than anyone…Where we have taken our country from and where it is now speaks for its self.”
Catherine who didn’t seem to buy the explanation went on bombarding Kagame with allegation after allegation of human rights violations.
“…sounds abit cynical like the tragedy of 1994 [genocide] is not considered a human rights violation and has been set aside,” Kagame tried to explain.
Catherine instead went on chronicling cases of human rights violations cited in the EU report.
“Let me finish,” an angry Kagame tries to explain but Catherine continues talking.
“Why don’t you let me answer? Why are you trying to influence the ones listening us?” Kagame now charges.
“You are asking the questions and will end up giving yourself answers. Why do you want to claim what is in Rwanda is hell?”
He cited education, food security and health saying all are human rights and that the level of poverty has decreased by 60 percent.
“That is nonsense. Its rubbish. Rwanda is not the same as it was 25 years ago.”
He went on: “Infact, maybe you need to be looking around in Europe. You are violating people’s rights. People are being bundled and sent back to drown in Mediterranean Sea.”
“Why don’t you debate your own human rights violations. You really need to stop this superiority complex nonsense about human rights.”
Catherine now chirps in trying to educate Kagame on how human rights are universal blah blah…
“You don’t determine what should be said in a conversation. You don’t become the judge, you don’t tell others what to think. Who are you?”
He goes on: You shouldn’t be there belittling Africans or African leaders. We are the UN because we participate.”