Paul Kagame has been President of Rwanda since 2000. He can be blamed more than any other person for the unsatisfactory way in which the 1994 Rwandan Genocide has been remembered, both inside Rwanda and across the World.
Kagame has centralised power around himself, painting himself as the man who stopped the terrible events of 1994 in their tracks, and telling Rwandans that only he can bring stability to a country that in most of our lifetimes tore itself apart in the worst way imaginable.
As my guest today tells us, this is not only fatuous, but worse, the West believes Kagame. Kagame is seen as a reliable ally of the governments in Washington and London. The West has chosen not to delve into the conflicting narratives surrounding the genocide, and lazily believes the one that suits its interests best: that Kagame, whilst a little rough around the edges, is a consummate stabilitocrat. He wouldn’t hurt a fly; a person perhaps, but as long as he doesn’t present problems for them, they’re willing to turn the other cheek.
My guest for today’s conversation is Michela Wrong, a British journalist and author who focuses on Africa, previously working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters, the BBC and the Financial Times. Her recent book, Do Not Disturb, details the terrible lengths to which Kagame has gone to remain in power.