In the wake of the 1994 genocide, Rwanda under President Paul Kagame has been hailed as a model of a modern African state: clean, well-run and scoring impressively on every development index. An appropriate venue, then, for this year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, with President Paul Kagame becoming Commonwealth Chair-in-Office 2021.
A new book by writer and reporter Michela Wrong challenges this glowing portrayal, highlighting instead a long history of violence by Rwanda’s ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front and the extraordinary lengths to which it goes to hunt down its enemies abroad and suppress criticism at home. It calls for a fundamental reassessment of President Kagame’s legacy and the West’s relationship with authoritarian regimes in Africa.
Speakers include: Michela Wrong, Africa specialist and author of ‘Do Not Disturb: The story of a political murder and an African regime gone bad’, Veronica Shandari, whose father Brigadier General Frank Rusagara has spent the last seven years in jail in Rwanda on charges of tarnishing the country’s image and human rights worker and former journalist Eleneus Akanga, who fled Rwanda in 2007 after his newspaper was closed down by the authorities. Moderated by, Lindsey Hilsum International Editor, Channel 4 News.