On September 19, 2023, in an interview with François Soudan, the Editor-in-Chief of the French publication Jeune Afrique, Rwandan President Paul Kagame provided nuanced opinions on various global issues, including the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Kagame’s stance appeared to be complex, walking a fine line between advocating for sovereignty and critiquing Western involvement in African affairs.
Addressing Rwanda’s position on the Ukraine conflict, Kagame asserted that his country had voted in favor of a United Nations resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He clarified that Rwanda’s vote was guided by the fundamental principle that no country should invade another, dismissing any ambiguity on this matter.
However, Kagame also pointed out that during his recent tour in West Africa, he criticized Western nations for implicating Africa in their own problems. This perspective closely aligns with Moscow’s narrative, suggesting that African nations are reluctantly dragged into conflicts and issues that are not of their making. When questioned about the broader complexities of the Russia-Ukraine situation, Kagame responded by questioning Rwanda’s impact on this global matter. He emphasized that major powers usually resolve conflicts according to their own interests and that Rwanda, or any other smaller nation, has little influence on such outcomes.