Michela Wrong, author of Do Not Disturb, the Story of a Political Murder and an African Regime gone Bad, in conversation with Stephanie Wolters, Senior Research Fellow at SAIIA.
Do Not Disturb is first and foremost a carefully researched exposé of the shocking lengths to which Rwandan President Paul Kagame has gone to control his country’s post-genocide narrative. The story revolves around the souring of the intimate relationships between the tight knit group of men who would seize power in Rwanda after the 1994 genocide, as one after the other broke with their erstwhile friend and ally as he became an increasingly authoritarian, utterly controlling and unforgiving leader.
As the book demonstrates, in Kagame’s world, if you are not with him, you are a threat – a crime that warrants the death sentence. The two key protagonists of the book – the late former intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya and the former chief of staff and head of military intelligence, General Kayumba Nyamwasa – along with many others, have been the victims of state-sponsored assassination plots designed to eliminate any and all critics of the Rwandan government.
Wrong’s book examines how and why the RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) and Kagame took this turn, looking in particular at the narrative constructed by the RPF in the aftermath of the genocide which positions it as the saviours – then and now – of the Rwandan nation, and Rwandan Tutsis as the genocide’s only victims. Wrong also shines a light on the roles played by the international community, which – even when faced with overwhelming evidence – continues to turn a blind eye to the worst abuses perpetrated by the Rwandan government, whether domestically or abroad.
Along the way, Wrong traces the historical background of what would become the RPF, its deep ties to Uganda’s own armed struggle and to its victor, President Yoweri Museveni. She also looks at the damage caused by Rwanda’s role in two successive wars in the DRC.
This event will touch on this and many other aspects of this book.
Watch the webinar on YouTube: