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Rwanda: ‘I come from the political school of Kagame’ says Mushikiwabo

By Patrick Smith
Posted on Tuesday, 30 March 2021 13:24

Francophonie General Secretary Louise Mushikiwabo takes part in a working session during the G5 Sahel summit Tuesday 30 June 2020 in Nouakchott. (Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP)

It was an away match for Louise Mushikiwabo, a foray to the heart of the British establishment. Chatham House, on London’s St James’s Square, was home to three British prime ministers before the building was handed over, in the aftermath of the First World War, to academics and diplomats charged with analysing crises and preventing war.

Some 16 years later, the Second World War broke out, one of whose consequences was the coinage of the term ‘genocide’.

The terrible reality behind the word has shaped Mushikiwabo’s life, as it has that of her country since 1994. Her brother Landoald Ndasingwa, a businessman and politician, was killed on the first day of the Rwandan genocide.

Mushikiwabo’s invitation to speak at Chatham House was centred on the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), to which she was elected secretary-general in 2018, but the failures of the international system in Rwanda and neighbouring countries quickly surfaced in the discussion.