By Samuel Burke, Claire Calzonetti & Juliet Fuisz, CNN
Rwanda's president, Paul Kagame, has been a darling of the West ever since he led his country out of the terrible 1994 genocide that left up to one million people dead.
After the genocide, Kagame brought economic and social progress to Rwanda by effectively using the foreign aid flowing in from the international community. These funds make up nearly half of the country’s budget.
But now, the country's economic lifeline is in jeopardy since the United Nations accused Rwanda of backing rebels in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo. The U.N. says the country has helped to create and militarily support the “M23” rebel group that wants to overthrow the democratically-elected government of President Joseph Kabila.
The White House says that President Obama called Kagame to emphasize “the importance of permanently ending all support to armed groups in the DRC.” FULL POST
Watch the complete interview with Rwanda's president on our podcast.
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By Tom Evans; Sr. Writer, AMANPOUR.
(CNN) - Rwandan President Paul Kagame hit back Monday at human rights activists who say he's behaving like an autocrat and fueling a bloody civil war in Rwanda's neighbor, Congo.
"If you are talking about people in the human rights community from outside... I have an issue with this," Kagame said, 16 years after he was hailed as a hero for ending a genocide that killed at least 800,000 people.
"You tend to make a judgment of a country, 11 million people, on what a couple of people have said and (they) don't take into account what Rwandans say."
Kagame added, "Nobody has asked the Rwandans ... it's as if they don't matter in the eyes of the human rights people. It's our own decisions in the end."
He said everyone in Rwanda has to play by the rules and be accountable. "There has to be leadership to make things move in the right direction," Kagame stated.