By David Himbara
Rwandan strongman General Paul Kagame is in political quarantine, shunned regionally and on the international stage. In January 2021, the US and the UK governments rebuked Kagame by calling for a transparent and independent investigation into Rwanda’s extrajudicial killings, deaths in custody, enforced disappearances and torture.
In September 2019, the government of South Africa asked Kagame to extradite Rwandans that have been identified as murderers of the former Rwandan intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya, in Johannesburg in 2013.
Since March 2019, Kagame has isolated Rwanda by locking up the international border between Rwanda and Uganda. Likewise, the Burundi-Rwanda border is closed.
In May 2021, DR Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi rebuked Kagame after the Rwandan strongman denounced the 2010 UN DR Congo Mapping Report which called for legal processes to determine whether the Rwandan military atrocities committed in 1996–2000 amounted to genocide.
In May 2021, the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) rejected Kagame’s push to fight in northern Mozambique where Islamic rebels have overrun US$20 billion French investments in liquefied natural gas. Enter Emmanuel Macron. The French head of state visited Rwanda in May 2021 to ‘write a new page’ in the French-Rwanda relationship. Will Macron save Kagame from political quarantine? Stay tuned.