Rwanda not so great

Behind the mask: an explosive book about Rwanda’s president
 Paul Kagame’s admirers say that as ruler of Rwanda, a once-benighted land, he is beneficent, even benevolent. Not if you believe even half of “Do Not Disturb”, a new study of his government by Michela Wrong, a journalist. Under her scrutiny, Mr Kagame has almost no redeeming features. Brought up among Tutsi exiles in Uganda, Rwanda’s neighbour to the north, in this telling he was the school sneak. He rose in the Ugandan intelligence service. Then Mr Kagame reconquered Rwanda. As a disciplinarian leader, she reports, he was known to comrades as “Pilato” (after Pontius Pilate) for overseeing punishments while washing his hands of moral responsibility. He is blasted, too, as a menace in the region. He should bear the bulk of guilt, reckons Ms Wrong, for a high death toll in civil wars initiated mainly by him in Congo. This book, full of detailed research, will enrage Mr Kagame and rattle his friends at home and abroad.

From the Economist magazine’s Espresso newsletter.

Rwanda is typically referred to in the liberal media as a democratic, progressive, law abiding country that illustrates that not all African nations are repressive dictatorships. Maybe it’s not such a good example after all.

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