During a France24 interview on the sidelines of the European Development Day in Brussels, Rwanda President Paul Kagame had a heated exchange with the interviewer. He told her to stop having a superiority complex where Europeans think that they are the only ones who care about human rights and be paternalistic with African countries and leaders.
You really need to stop this superiority complex nonsense about human rights. You think you’re the only ones who respect human rights, and all others it’s about violating human rights. No. We have fought for human rights and freedoms of our people much better, and more than anyone including you people who keep talking about this nonsense.
Where we have taken a country and where it is now, speaks for itself. The rest of the stories just come from this complex.
You know these two worlds where there are people who know everything about human rights and all kinds of things and another world where [there are] people don’t know. But these are our human rights. When we respect the things we respect in our countries, it’s not for you, it’s not for anybody else, it’s for ourselves.
(France24 journalist interjected “is it not universal rights?”)
Yes, it is universal, but you don’t sit there… if it is universal and you believe it, then you don’t become the judge yourself. You don’t start telling the others what to do, what they should not do, or that what they are doing is not to your satisfaction. Who are you?
(France24 journalist interjected “well, I’m not sure if you’re talking about me personally”)
Well, you’re the one who is raising these questions, so I thnk you better interpret it properly so that it’s well understood. I could see you were asking questions in a manner that you want to influence the ones listening to us. But that’s not correct.
… I believe that you shouldn’t be there belittling Africans or leaders of Africa.
Kagama had been asked about alleged human rights violations in Rwanda in recent years. Kagame also brought up what he said where human rights violations happening currently in Europe with the migrant situation. Kagame expressed his dissatisfaction with the line of questioning by the journalist.
Here’s the full interview (Kagame’s response to the human rights conversation starts at 18:10):