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Rebooting Rwanda

A Conversation With Paul Kagame

Author: Paul Kagame
May/June 2014
Foreign Affairs

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On April 6, 1994, a plane carrying Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana was shot down by unidentified assailants. The next day, the killings began. Over the next three months, as the international community stood by, an estimated one million Rwandans—Tutsis and moderate Hutus—were systematically slaughtered by Hutu extremists, mostly using clubs and machetes. The genocide, one of history's worst and certainly its quickest, finally ended in July, when the Rwandan Patriotic Front seized control of the country. The rebel army was led by a 36-year-old Tutsi former refugee named Paul Kagame, who promptly took political control: serving first as the de facto leader of the country while defense minister and vice president and then, in 2000, assuming the presidency.

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