Kagame’s Killing Fields: Book Review By Albert Bimenyimana


Kagame’s Killing Fields is the latest book by author David Himbara. This book follows Kagame’s Economic Mirage published by same author in 2016. The two books share one main thing – they are both based on hard evidence drawn from official governmental or multilateral agencies’ records. As Himbara explains in the two books, it is his strategy to avoid anecdotal materials which are easily disputed.

Kagame’s Killing Fields is a shocking account of killings in Rwanda, DRC, and beyond – all unleashed by Kagame from 1994 to 2016. Ironically, Himbara’s data on Kagame’s Killing Fields is mostly from The United States’ government – a country that has been most supportive of the Kagame regime. Perhaps what will shock people who read Kagame’s Killing Fields is the chapter on the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Himbara paints a picture that is sharply different from the official Rwandan view. Himbara heavily quotes Kagame and his party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) in their vehement opposition to the UN intervention to stop genocide, after the initial UN withdrawal instigated by the Clinton Administration in the US. According to Himbara, Kagame was interested in power as opposed to saving lives. External intervention would have denied him outright power – such intervention would have led to power-sharing.

The book is most depressing on what followed in the RPF takeover in 1994, the massacres in Rwanda such as Kibeho in 1995, through the invasion of Congo, and the subsequent deaths of up 5 million in that country between 1996 and 2000.

This book is a must read for everyone interested in human rights, international law, and political studies. It is an eye opener – and for those who see Kagame as a saviour. On the contrary, he is a monster, as Himbara ably demonstrates. The book should shame Kagame’s diehard supporters such Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. It is hard to imagine that they have no idea of who Kagame truly is.