The Myth and Reality of Paul Kagame

The full video of the Open Society Institute in Manhattan’s panel discussion on contemporary Rwanda is now up. Its a little more than one and a half hours in length and worth watching. The panel consisted of academics and journalists Howard French and Stephen Smith, the former Kagame confidant Theogene Rudasingwa, and, finally, Rona Peligal, deputy director of the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch. Peligal acted as moderator.

The themes that run through the presentation are: conversations about Rwanda are driven by two impulses (guilt and fear); the continuities between Kagame and predecessor regimes in Rwanda;  Kagame runs “a transformative authoritarian regime” (in Smith’s words); and that ethnicity is at the heart of state politics as well as that of exile. The panelists conceded that Kagame can take credit for rebuilding Rwanda after the 1994 genocide, but some noted that  “Rwanda has always been a well organized country.”

Check out the outburst near the end of the panel by Tim Gallimore, former spokesperson for the prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. He was listed as “a  discussant.” Gallimore, who is also a consultant to the Rwandan government, accuses the panel of “a double standard” when it comes to Kagame and that the debate was “laced with poisonous rhetorical questions” and “unsubstantiated charges.”

2 thoughts on “The Myth and Reality of Paul Kagame

  1. The panel is biased and does base their points on reality but rather on the hatred they have for the President and the people of Rwanda. It’s indeed weird to hear Dr.Rudasingwa speak only negative comments about the government he served just because his wrong ambitions could not keep him in the system.

  2. Paul Kagame is not Rwanda and people need to understand that.
    Paul Kagame and a small percentage of his loyals, in huge majority expats Ugandans is who is running things. Everyone else is susceptible of murder, expropriation or jail any time they don’t speak the official language of praises for the new power. This new government is the most evil, dangerous, authoritarian, undemocratic Rwanda has ever known and all you have to do is follow the trail of dead bodies they have left behind since 1990. Yet they are regarded as saviors.
    Maybe one day the world will wake up to Modern day Black Hitler… oh wait… black people are allowed to die, they aren’t worth saving. 1000 000 in Rwanda, 8000 000 in the Congo….I don ‘t know how these people still look at themselves in a mirror… Have mercy.

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