Sarkozy not welcome here, say Congolese lawmakers

28th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

A group of opposition Congolese lawmakers said they opposed an upcoming trip to Kinshasa by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

KINSHASA, January 26, 2009 (AFP) - "The visit of President Nicolas Sarkozy, scheduled for March, in as much as it endangers the fundamental interests of the Congolese people, is not desirable," said the group of senators and deputies in the text received by AFP following a meeting in the capital.

In his New Year's address to diplomats in Paris this month, Sarkozy said a "fresh approach" was needed to resolve the instability and share the wealth in the Great Lakes region, which includes part of Democratic Republic of Congo.

He also touched on "the future of Rwanda."

Sarkozy's remarks triggered an uproar here, with the Congolese media suggesting he wanted a "balkanisation" of DR Congo.

The lawmakers said Sarkozy's desire to see broad-based discussions as to the "sharing of space and the riches of our country is strange," and added in the statement that while Sarkozy had "the right to please Rwanda," that did not give him the right to serve up Congolese wealth "in order to improve diplomatic relations between France and Rwanda."

Paris and Kigali have been at odds for years over who bears responsibility for Rwanda's 1994 genocide that killed some 800,000 people in a matter of months.


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