Kagame’s rule is characterized by human rights abuse, political repression, ethnic persecution, extrajudicial killings, nepotism, and Corruption. Kagame’s forces are believed to have committed horrible war crimes that can amount to a genocide.
It’s like all dictators learn from the same school, the same teacher. Dictators’ actions are always history repeating itself. In this article, I am going to analyze striking resemblances between Paul Kagame and Pol Pot.
A little background about Pol Pot:
Pol Pot ( guerilla name) was born Saloth Sar. He is seen here in this undated photo giving a speech.
Until his death, Pol Pot was the leader of a movement known as the Khmer Rouge. Pol Pot became the leader of Cambodia after a guerilla war, his rule was a dictatorship, by the time he was deposed, he had already killed around 2,000,000 people through extrajudicial killings and through horrible, ill conceived policies.
Pol Pot versus Paul Kagame
1) They both took power by force.
These two men, Pol Pot and Paul Kagame, become leaders of their respective countries after a guerrilla war. Pol Pot led a movement called the Khmer Rouge, this movement consisted of teenage peasant guerillas. Paul Kagame led a movement called the RPF-Inkotanyi, a movement that took power in a bloodbath.
Khmer Rouge fighters celebrate as they enter Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, on April 17, 1975.
Khmer Rouge. Notice how young they look!
Kagame’s troops in the jungle. After four years of a brutal war in which his troops killed everything that breaths on their way, humans, cattle and sheep alike, Kagame took over the leadership of Rwanda in 1994. He reigned in a rule of terror ever since. Kagame rules Rwanda with the same brutality he used while in the jungle.
2) They reigned in a rule of terror.
Pol Pot adopted a form of communism based on Maoism and Stalinism, then carried it to extreme. He wanted Cambodia to be an agrarian society that is pure, free of foreign influences. At gun point, Pol Pot emptied the cities and forced people young and old alike, to work in the fields under harsh conditions. He outlawed religion, schools, money etc, he closed his country to the outside world. Doctors were killed, as were most people with skills and education that threatened the regime.
Trucks came and took away crops. Under Pol Pot, people died from exhaustion, starvation, and diseases. But many people died from extrajudicial killings for Pol Pot did not tolerate any opposition. Pol Pot is notorious for his “Killing Fields”, places where those suspected of disloyalty were executed.
Pol Pot especially persecuted members of minority ethnic groups (the Chinese, Muslim Chams, Vietnamese and Thais who had lived for generations in the country, and any other foreigners) in an attempt to create a ”pure” Cambodia.
Before he invaded Rwanda, Paul Kagame must read the biography of Pol Pot and drew a lot of lessons from it. Paul Kagame does not tolerate dissent and has his own “Kiling feilds” . His notorious secret services best know as DMI hunts Kagame’s critics day and night, inside and outside Rwanda. They use any means necessary including torture, poison etc.
Paul Kagame has outlawed political parties (only those that do not pause a treat are allowed). People in Rwanda are not allowed to criticize or voice their opinions or their concerns. The media is censored; no journalist can work freely in Rwanda.
Jailed opposition leader Umuhoza Ingabire
Paul Kagame introduced his own extreme agrarian reform. Peasants are forced to grow one crop dictated by officials. This policy is creating headaches for peasants, for there in no enough customers to buy what they grow, if they get lucky and find customers, the money they make is not worth the trouble. They do not make enough money to buy other foods they need. Any resistance to that policy is dealt with ruthlessly. Though Kagame is not trying to take the country back in medieval days and actually welcomes western investors with open arms, his development plans benefit him and his immediate entourage. Kagame and his close friends have become extremely wealthy while the rest of Rwandans got poorer and poorer.
Paul Kagame is persecuting ethnic Hutus. No Hutu can hold a high post in the administration or in the army. Hutus are brutalized, humiliated, jailed, tortured day in and day out. They are sent to prison on trumped up charges, they are denied jobs simply because they are Hutus.
Forced labor. Hutus are jailed on trumped up charges. Conditions in Rwanda prisons are inhuman. Genocide against the Hutu population is underway in Rwanda today
Kagame purged Rwanda of all educated Hutus who could have threatened his dictatorship. Doctors, teachers, ex soldiers, politicians, business persons were shot, bombarded en masse, tortured, killed by worn out hoes, akandoyi, cut out with bayonnettes or simply left to rot in prison on trumped up charges. Hutus are not allowed to mourn their loved ones who perished under kagame’s dictatorship and extrajudicial killings. Just like the Khmer Rouge, kagame’s Inkotanyi killed even hutu kids. One of the methods used was Just like Khmer Rouge, to hold a child by the legs, and smash the head against a wall or against a tree. Hutus have been marginalized and many have been forced to free the country. Kagame sends killing squads on foreign soil to hunt Hutus and all opponents.
The notorious kami prison is one of Kagame’ s many killing fields. Defectors claim that the nyungwe forest is also another killing fields. Many people suspected of being a treat to the Kagame regime are believed to have been killed there, then burned.
Akandoyi is a method of torturing someone. The victim’s arms are tightly tied behind his back, so tight that the victim’s bones crack.
Agafuni ( a worn out hoe ) a preferred killing tool of Paul Kagame and his Inkotanyi. The victims head is smashed with a hoe. This was a preferred method because it saves bullets and it hurts the victim and makes him die a really horrible death.
3) Getting away with their horrible crimes and US support despite obvious poor human rights record
Pol Pot in his last days. Pol Pot got away, he died without being held accountable for his gross human rights violations.
Interestingly, despite obvious human rights violations, Pol Pot enjoyed considerable support fro the United States. Pol Pot was enemy with Vietnam so were Americans. Americans looked the other way and ignored his crimes.
Kagame is getting away with murder thanks to his western supporters the US and the UK being at the forefront
Paul Kagame enjoys considerable support from the Americans as well. The motives behind the Americans supporting such a monster ( they must know about his killing fields and his war crimes ) is unknown. We can only speculate that they are after Congo’s natural resources. But why allow such human rights violations? There has to be another way to get to Congo, other than a bloodbath and genocides.