Feature

Rwanda: America’s darling is a murderer

Given the overwhelming evidence of President Paul Kagame's terrible deeds, “how can the international community continue to defend him?” asked Barka Ba in Kotch.

Barka Ba
Kotch (Senegal)

The ugly truth about Rwanda’s leader is finally out, said Barka Ba. In much of the world, but particularly in the U.S., Rwandan President Paul Kagame has for years been viewed as occupying the moral high ground. During the 1994 Hutu-led genocide, while U.N. peacekeepers and the international community did nothing, Kagame and his Tutsi rebels stepped in to stop the massacres. For that, he received “the adulation of the Americans.” Eventually, he became president and was credited with restoring trust in the battered country.

But now, a U.N. report shows that “this dictator has blood on his hands.” Two years after stopping the genocide of Tutsis, Kagame led a reprisal against Hutus who had fled to neighboring Congo. His troops killed hundreds of thousands of people there, by luring refugees to meetings to discuss repatriation and then slaughtering them en masse.

That “genocide” is his largest crime, but it’s by no means the only one. “It’s an open secret” that Kagame sponsored warlords in Congo’s civil war. And at home, he has ruthlessly suppressed political opposition, jailing dissidents and critics. Given the overwhelming evidence of his terrible deeds, “how can the international community continue to defend him?”

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