Kagame plea for international support

President Paul Kagame has appealed for international support for Rwanda as the country approaches the end of a transition period and prepares for presidential and parliamentary elections.

A statement issued on Monday by his office said Kagame had made the appeal on 31 January when he addressed the diplomatic corps during the annual New Year's reception in the capital, Kigali.

"We are heading for the end of the transition period. At the same time, we shall have the conclusion of the constitution-making process, and a new constitution that will provide the guidelines for the political situation that will unfold after the end of the transition," he said. A draft constitution would, he said, be presented to the cabinet and the National Assembly, and thereafter to the people of Rwanda in a referendum by May.

The Rwanda Patriotic Front, which was a rebel force in the early 1990s, took power in July 1994 after the April-June genocide, in which some 800,000 people died.

"It is my intention to request the international community to continue to support Rwanda in carrying through with these meaningful and historic processes, which will deliver on the expectations of both the people of Rwanda and the international community," Kagame told the diplomats.

The full statement