Office of the High Commissioner
It is clear that the Times made a decision at the highest levels to inflict the greatest possible damage on Rwanda’s reputation through a coordinated series of articles and editorials published this morning based on a mixture of unsubstantiated hearsay accounts and outright lies.
When a news organisation launches a premeditated assault of this kind, the target is invariably denied the right to rebut charges or challenge assumptions because balance and context would undermine the explosive intent. No Rwandan official was contacted about any aspect of these reports before yesterday, less than 24 hours before publication. The details of the specific allegations were withheld for the obvious reason that the Times was interested only in sensationalism, not scrutiny.
We are disappointed by this coverage, but we will not dwell on it. Rwanda has endured much worse. We will, as the British like to say, “Keep Calm and Carry On”.