Rwanda’s soldier-president runs what is arguably Africa’s most orderly and disciplined society. Flower beds are immaculate, villagers wear shoes — by decree — and local officials strain to meet targets, whether for raising cassava yields or reducing maternal deaths. Yet despite the seeming clockwork system and carefully laid-out development plans — among the most ambitious on the continent — for Paul Kagame, the memory of chaos and violence is never far away. That is hardly surprising given Rwanda’s harrowing history and his own formative experiences as a refugee and guerrilla. In 1994, the Hutu majority tried to exterminate the Tutsi minority and its moderate Hutu sympathisers, hacking as many as 1-million people to death, nearly 15% of the population, in 100 blood-soaked days. Kagame, a Tutsi brought up in a refugee camp in Uganda after his parents had fled Rwanda in an earlier anti-Tutsi pogrom, received his political education in the bush, first as a soldier in the Ugandan civil...

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