Kagame, Paul


Kagame, Paul
born October 1957, Rwanda

President of Rwanda from 2000.

An ethnic Tutsi, Kagame grew up in exile in Uganda, where in 1986 he helped overthrow Milton Obote in favour of Yoweri Museveni. In 1990 he helped direct an unsuccessful coup in Rwanda, and following the 1994 genocide that left almost one million Rwandans dead (most of them Tutsi), he assumed control of the joint Tutsi-Hutu opposition forces that soon controlled all of Rwanda. In July 1994 he was named vice president and minister of defense under Hutu president Pasteur Bizimungu. After Bizimungu resigned in 2000, Kagame was named president. In 1997 he was instrumental in the overthrow of Mobutu Sese Seko in neighbouring Zaire (Congo) and the installation of Laurent Kabila as president.

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▪ 1995

      The dominant figure to emerge from the tragedy in Rwanda in 1994 was Paul Kagame, the architect of the successful military campaign waged by the Tutsi-dominated Rwandan Patriotic Front (FPR) to gain control of the country from the Hutu majority after the genocidal bloodbath that followed the death of Pres. Juvénal Habyarimana in April. As hundreds of thousands of the minority Tutsi and their Hutu allies perished at the hands of Hutu militia, Kagame and his rebel army renewed the civil war they had begun in October 1990. Outnumbered by as many as 20,000 soldiers, Kagame's force of 10,000-14,000 executed the general's "deliberately protracted" strategy to perfection. The FPR minimized its casualties by avoiding direct assaults on the enemy. Instead it hammered government strongholds with artillery for days but left corridors through which the enemy could flee, abandoning their heavy armaments, when their stocks and will were depleted. By early July the FPR's siege of the capital, Kigali, was complete, and in a matter of weeks the country was under FPR control. The new government included a Hutu president and prime minister, but real power appeared to rest with Kagame, who, at age 37, assumed the titles of vice president and minster of defense.

      Kagame was born about 1957 in southern Rwanda and grew up in exile in Uganda. His parents had taken him there as a young child when Hutu violence toward the Tutsi flared in 1959 during the buildup to Rwandan independence from Belgium. In Uganda he studied at Makerere University, Kampala, before joining the forces of Yoweri Museveni, who overthrew Ugandan Pres. Milton Obote in 1986. Kagame became Museveni's chief of intelligence and gained a reputation for incorruptibility and severity by enforcing a stringent code of behaviour; he earned the nickname Commander Pilate (after Pontius Pilate). Many Ugandans resented the Rwandan presence in their country, however, and as the 1980s closed, Kagame and three other expatriate Rwandan military leaders plotted an invasion of their homeland. In 1990, while Kagame was studying at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, that invasion—mostly involving Tutsi veterans of the Ugandan army—was undertaken and repulsed. In the process the other three members of the FPR command were killed. Kagame assumed direction of the civil war, which was suspended in August 1993 by a peace agreement that promised—but never delivered—real power sharing.

      Assuming power in the aftermath of the Hutu massacres of the Tutsi in 1994, Kagame stood firmly against random Tutsi reprisals. In interviews he said that he was determined to bring an end to the cycles of violence. He also called on the Tutsi and Hutu to live together as one people. (JEFF WALLENFELDT)

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▪ president of Rwanda
born October 1957, Rwanda

      Rwandan military leader and politician, who, as leader of the Rwandan Patriot Front, defeated Hutu extremist forces to end the 1994 Rwandan genocide. In 2000 he became president of Rwanda.

      Kagame grew up in exile in Uganda, where his parents had taken him as a young child when Hutu violence toward the Tutsi flared in 1959 during the buildup to Rwandan independence from Belgium. In Uganda he studied at Makerere University in Kampala, before joining the forces of Yoweri Museveni (Museveni, Yoweri Kaguta), who overthrew Ugandan Pres. Milton Obote (Obote, Milton) in 1986. Kagame became Museveni's chief of intelligence and gained a reputation for incorruptibility and severity by enforcing a stringent code of behaviour. Many Ugandans resented the Rwandan presence in their country, however, and, as the 1980s closed, Kagame and three other expatriate Rwandan military leaders formed the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriot Front (Front Patriotique Rwandais; FPR) and plotted an invasion of their homeland. In 1990, while Kagame was studying at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, that invasion—mostly involving Tutsi veterans of the Ugandan army—was undertaken and repulsed. In the process the other three members of the FPR command were killed. Kagame assumed direction of the civil war, which was suspended in August 1993 by a peace agreement that promised—but never delivered—real power sharing.

      Early in April 1994 Rwandan Pres. Juvénal Habyarimana, a Hutu, was killed when his plane was shot down over Kigali; this sparked a campaign of genocide against the Tutsi and their moderate Hutu allies. In response, Kagame led a force of 10,000–14,000 FPR soldiers against the Hutu forces perpetrating the genocide. By eschewing direct assaults and utilizing protracted artillery attacks on enemy strongholds, Kagame's forces were able to minimize casualties and retake the capital, Kigali, in early July. By that time, however, more than 800,000 people had been killed in the genocide. The FPR set up a new government that had for its president a Hutu, Pasteur Bizimungu, but the real power appeared to rest with Kagame, who, at the age of 37, assumed the titles of vice president and minister of defense. In 2000 he was elected president of Rwanda's transitional government by the National Assembly.

      After the genocide, many Hutu forces had fled to neighbouring Zaire (after May 1997, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo)) and used the country as a base from which to attack Rwanda. Frustrated that Zaire's government was not taking enough action to stop the attacks, Kagame sent Rwandan troops into the country in late 1996 to battle the Hutu forces. While there, the troops also intervened in the rebellion taking place, supporting Laurent Kabila (Kabila, Laurent) in his successful quest to depose Zairean president Mobutu Sese Seko. In 1998, after Kabila had been in power for a little more than a year, Kagame shifted support to rebels who sought to oust Kabila. Kagame was one of several African leaders operating military forces in Congo during that country's civil war—dubbed Africa's “first world war” for this reason—and he was the subject of much international criticism for Rwanda's involvement. He supported rebel forces until 2002, when he signed a peace accord and agreed to remove Rwandan troops in exchange for the disarmament and repatriation of Hutu forces in Congo.

      During the 2003 presidential campaign, Kagame portrayed himself as a Rwandan rather than a Tutsi and attempted to downplay the existence of ethnic strife in the country. Kagame—who engaged in aggressive campaign tactics against his Hutu rivals, going so far as to arrest opponents' supporters and forcing some candidates to withdraw from the race—won a landslide victory in the country's first multiparty elections. He was sworn into office on Sept. 12, 2003, ending the nine-year transitional government. A major focus of his presidency was building national unity and the country's economy.

      In 2006 Rwanda broke diplomatic ties with France after a French judge issued international arrest warrants for several of Kagame's close associates and called for Kagame to face trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (established by the United Nations Security Council to try those involved in the 1994 genocide), alleging that Kagame and other FPR leaders had ordered the rocket attack that caused the 1994 plane crash that killed Habyarimana. Kagame vehemently denied the accusation and in turn claimed that France had armed and advised the rebels responsible for the genocide.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kagame, Paul — (n. oct. 1957, Ruanda). Presidente de Ruanda a partir de 2000. Perteneció a la etnia tutsi, creció en el exilio en Uganda, donde en 1986 contribuyó a derrocar a Milton Obote en favor de Yoweri Museweni. En 1990 ayudó a dirigir un fallido golpe en …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Kagame — Paul Kagame Paul Kagame 6e président de la République du Rwanda …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Paul Kagamé — Paul Kagame Paul Kagame 6e président de la République du Rwanda …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Paul Kagame — (* 23. Oktober 1957 in der Präfektur Gitarama in Ruanda) ist seit dem 22. April 2000 Präsident von Ruanda. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Paul Kagame — en 2009. Presidente de Ruanda …   Wikipedia Español

  • Kagame — Paul Kagame Paul Kagame (* 23. Oktober 1957 in der Präfektur Gitarama in Ruanda) ist seit dem 22. April 2000 Präsident von Ruanda. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Paul Kagame — Infobox President name = Paul Kagame order = President of Rwanda primeminister = Bernard Makuza vicepresident = term start = 24 March 2000 term end = predecessor = Pasteur Bizimungu successor = birth date = birth date and age|1957|10|23|df=y… …   Wikipedia

  • Paul — /pawl/ for 1 3, 5; /powl/ for 4, n. 1. Saint, died A.D. c67, a missionary and apostle to the gentiles: author of several of the Epistles. Cf. Saul (def. 2). 2. Alice, 1885 1977, U.S. women s rights activist. 3. Elliot (Harold), 1891 1958, U.S …   Universalium

  • paúl — I (Del lat. vulgar padule < lat. palus, paludis , pantano.) ► sustantivo masculino Terreno pantanoso cubierto de hierba. SINÓNIMO paular II (De san Vicente de Paúl.) ► adjetivo/ sustantivo masculino RELIGIÓN Se aplica al clérigo que es miembro …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Paul Kagame — en 2009. Mandats 5e président de la République du Rwanda …   Wikipédia en Français


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