On October 14-16, 2015, President Paul Kagame will be a keynote speaker at the 2015 Borlaug Dialogue: Fundamentals of Global Food Security Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa. However, like many other speaking invitations in the United States and Europe, this one has also been protested by many human rights and advocacy organizations. Paul Kagame is the President of Rwanda, a tiny country in central Africa which experienced one of the world’s most recent documented and recognized genocides in 1994.
While some praise Kagame for his role in stopping the massacre and ensuing economic development in Rwanda, his legacy is also tainted by a series of dark and brutal mass killings and human rights violations.
Kagame is accused of:
- Assassinating opposition leaders,
- Mass murder of civilians in Rwanda and abroad,
- Invasion and exploitation of natural resources in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, and
- Political suppression of the Rwandan people.
The Global Campaign for Rwandan Human Rights has compiled a list of some of the alleged murders by the Rwandan regime of President Paul Kagame entitled: “Kagame hit Squad Murder trial.” The UN Mapping report, one of the most extensive mass killings outside Rwandan borders is also mentioned on this list.
Recently, one of Rwanda’s top military officials, General Karenzi Karake, Director General of Rwanda’s National Intelligence and Security Services, was arrested in London and prevented from leaving the country by the British Police’s Extradition Unit due to alleged war crimes against civilians. In 2008, a Spanish judge indicted Karake for alleged war crimes that occurred after the 1994 Rwandan genocide. He is accused of ordering massacres of civilians and the killing of three Spanish nationals working for the NGO Médicos del Mundo (Doctors of the World). He is one of the 40 Rwandan military officers named in the indictment. Click here to read a statement of the families of the murdered victims after they heard that General Karenzi Karake was arrested.