Rwanda, Burundi fire back after US rebukes leaders for 'power grabs'

Rwandan President Paul Kagame addresses the media in Addis Ababa on April 16, 2015. AFP FILE PHOTO | ZACHARIAS ABUBEKER

What you need to know:

  • The two diplomats' angry rejoinders were triggered by US Ambassador Samantha Power's claim that “democratic processes are being deliberately undermined” in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as in Rwanda and Burundi.
  • Citing an “accelerating trend” in the Great Lakes region, US Ambassador Power charged that in each of those four countries “leaders make increasingly blatant power grabs to remain in office” while closing media outlets, arresting critics and intimidating civil-society group
  • A Rwandan minister directly warned the US ambassador to the UN not to speak critically of President Paul Kagame

Rwanda and Burundi fired back on Monday against US claims of “blatant power grabs” by the presidents of the two Great Lakes countries.

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