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paul kagame

Paul Kagame (born 23 October 1957) is a Rwandan politician and former military officer who is the fourth and current president of Rwanda since 2000. He previously served as a commander of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a rebel armed force that invaded Rwanda in 1990. The RPF was one of the parties of the conflict during the Rwandan Civil War and the armed force, which ended the Rwandan genocide. He was considered Rwanda's de facto leader when he served as Vice President and Minister of Defence under President Pasteur Bizimungu from 1994 to 2000, after which the vice-presidential post was abolished.

Born to a Tutsi family in southern Rwanda that fled to Uganda when he was two years old, he would spend the rest of his childhood there during the Rwandan Revolution, which ended centuries of Tutsi political dominance. In the 1980s, Kagame fought in Yoweri Museveni's rebel army, becoming a senior Ugandan army officer after many military victories led Museveni to the Ugandan presidency Kagame joined the RPF, taking control of the group when previous leader Fred Rwigyema died on the second day of the 1990 invasion. By 1993, the RPF controlled significant territory in Rwanda, and a ceasefire was negotiated. The assassination of Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana set off the genocide, in which Hutu extremists killed an estimated 500,000 to 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu. Kagame resumed the civil war and ended the genocide with a military victory.
During his vice presidency, Kagame controlled the national army and was responsible for maintaining the government's power, while other officials began rebuilding the country. Many RPF soldiers carried out retribution killings. Kagame said he did not support these killings but failed to stop them. Hutu refugee camps formed in Zaire and other countries, and the RPF attacked the camps in 1996, but insurgents continued to attack Rwanda. As part of the invasion, Kagame sponsored two rebel wars in Zaire. Rwandan- and Ugandan-backed rebels won the first war (1996–97), installing Laurent-Désiré Kabila as president in place of dictator Mobutu and returning Zaire to its former pre-Mobutu name, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The second war was launched in 1998 against Kabila, and later, his son Joseph, following the DRC government's expulsion of Rwandan and Ugandan military forces from the country. The war escalated into a conflict that lasted until a 2003 peace deal and ceasefire.
Bizimungu resigned in 2000, most likely having been forced to do so, following a falling out with the RPF. He was replaced by Kagame. Bizimungu was later imprisoned for corruption and inciting ethnic violence, charges that human rights groups described as politically motivated. Kagame's rule is considered authoritarian, and human rights groups accuse him of political repression. Overall opinion on the regime by foreign observers is mixed, and as president, Kagame has prioritized national development, launching programmes which have led to development on key indicators including healthcare, education, and economic growth. Kagame has had mostly good relations with the East African Community and the United States; his relations with France were poor until 2009. Relations with the DRC remain tense despite the 2003 ceasefire; human rights groups and a leaked United Nations report allege Rwandan support for two insurgencies in the country, a charge Kagame denies. Several countries suspended aid payments in 2012 following these allegations. Since coming to power, Kagame has won three presidential elections, but none of these have been rated free or fair by international observers. His role in the assassination of exiled political opponents has been controversial.

Views on his leadership vary widely amongst international scholars and journalists. According to political scientist Alexander Dukalskis, Kagame has been adept in developing a sophisticated positive image of Rwanda abroad. Dukalskis says that to suppress negative information, the Kagame regime has curtailed access to academics and journalists and threatened and assassinated critics of the regime. Others, such as Philip Gourevitch, author of the 1998 book We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families, focus on his achievements in ending the genocide after the international community failed to do so, as well as the reconciliation, economic growth, foreign investment, improved public health and education. This is countered by authors such as Judi Rever, who highlight war crimes committed by the RPF before, during, and after the 1994 genocide, the effects of the civil war, assassinations of opponents and the totalitarianism of his regime. In Rethinking the Rwandan Narrative for the 25th Anniversary, Gerald Caplan states that a new narrative is required to reconcile these conflicting viewpoints, incorporating aspects from both points of view and "striking the proper balance between the old and the newly revised".
In Rwanda, Kagame's RPF is seen as a Tutsi-dominated party, and in the years following the 1994 genocide, it was deeply unpopular with the Hutu, who const 85% of the population. Approximately two million Hutu lived as refugees in neighbouring countries until 1996, when Kagame forced them to return home. Many Hutu also supported the late 1990s cross-border insurgency against Kagame by defeated forces of the former regime. By 1999, the RPF had weakened the insurgents, and Tutsi and Hutu began living together peacefully in the northwest. Kayumba Nyamwasa, at the time still part of the Rwandan army, said that "the mood had changed", attributing a shift in Hutu attitude to a shift in the "balance of forces in the country", with the genocidaires having "no chance of returning to power".As of 2021, with a lack of free speech in Rwanda,[356] and elections which are generally regarded as lacking freedom and fairness, Kagame's popularity amongst the Rwandwan population is unknown. Journalists Jason Burke of The Guardian and Al Jazeera's Rashid Abdallah describe the president as "authentically popular in Rwanda" and as enjoying "overwhelming public support" respectively British journalist and author Michela Wrong and Filip Reyntjens disagree, with Wrong saying that "the level of invective Kagame dedicates to the Rwanda National Congress, the amount of energy he has expended trying to get Uganda and South Africa to expel or extradite or close down these players, suggests he sees them as a real threat".
Kagame's image amongst foreign leaders was very positive until the late 2000s. He was credited with ending the genocide, bringing peace and security to Rwanda, and achieving development. Since 2010, the international community has increasingly criticized Kagame following a leaked United Nations report alleging Rwanda's support for the rebel M23 movement in Congo. In 2012, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and several other countries suspended programmes of budget support to Rwanda, with many redirecting their aid to project-based assistance.

On 10 June 1989 in Uganda, Kagame married Jeannette Nyiramongi, a Tutsi exile living in Nairobi, Kenya. Kagame had asked his relatives to suggest a suitable marriage, and they recommended Nyiramongi. Kagame travelled to Nairobi and introduced himself, persuading her to visit him in Uganda. Nyiramongi was familiar with the RPF and its goal of returning refugees to Rwanda. She held Kagame in high regard. The couple has four children.
Kagame's daughter, Ange Kagame Ndengeyingoma, completed her education abroad and was absent from the public eye for most of her childhood due to security and privacy reasons. She attended Dana Hall School, a private preparatory school located in Wellesley, Massachusetts, in the United States. She attended Smith College, where she majored in political science with a minor in African studies. She also holds a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University.[citation needed]. Kagame can speak three languages, English, Kinyarwanda, and French.