Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has said he will run for a fourth term in next year’s presidential election.
“Yes, I am indeed a candidate,” Mr Kagame told French-language magazine Jeune Afrique on Tuesday.
Asked about what the West would think about his decision to run again, Mr Kagame said, “I’m sorry for the West, but what the West thinks is not my problem.
“I am happy with the confidence that the Rwandans have in me. I will always serve them, as much when I can.”
Mr Kagame had joked in April that he was looking forward to retiring and handing over power after 23 years in office.
The country’s ruling party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF-Inkotanyi), retained Mr Kagame as its chairman in April. He has led the party since 1998.
Mr Kagame has been president of the East African nation since 2000.
A controversial referendum in 2015 replaced a constitutional limit of two seven-year terms for presidents with two five-year terms. But it allowed Mr Kagame to run for another seven-year term and said the changes would come into effect in 2024.
He won the last election in 2017 with 98.8% of the vote.
Rwanda under President Kagame has enjoyed relative political stability but critics and human rights groups accuse his government of limiting political freedoms and suppressing dissent.