On April 8, 2019, General Paul Kagame publicly commented on the fighting inside Rwanda — in Nyungwe Forest in particular. As he explained, ”People are celebrating and talking about how they are now overrunning some places in the country.” Kagame then added:
”Those who are behind it have in mind to provoke a war from which they mistakenly think they will benefit. They are trying to hide problems of their own and create a scenario where when war happens, you look the same. We refused this provocation.”
Nyungwe Forest is in southwestern Rwanda, bordering Burundi to the south, and Lake Kivu and DR Congo to the west. News about fighting in Nyungwe began to circulate in June 2018. That is when Callixte Sankara, a spokesman for a political party calling itself Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD), said that they had started an armed struggle to oust Kagame. The MRCD then said that its military wing was fighting with the Rwandan military in Nyungwe Forest.
Previously, the Kagame government has made contradictory comments about fighting in Nyungwe. This is the first time that Kagame himself has made public statements about it. We stay tuned.