Saturday, 25 May 2013

Paul Kagame goes to Oxford....

...with the Congolese commandos.

On Saturday May 18, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda was invited to give the keynote speech at a conference at Oxford University. 

Several protestors turned up, some in full military uniform. They ran about Oxford blowing plastic trumpets. They threw eggs and plastic water bottles at the glass-fronted Said Business School while Kagame gave his speech inside. After the speech, students of the business school presented Mr Kagame with the first ever Distinction of Honour for African Growth Award.

This man told me he was a 'Congolese commando' and 'ex-FAZ' (Congolese army)
The protestors described Kagame as the Guest of Horror instead of Guest of Honour'
You can read more about criticism of Kagame's visit (including from an Oxford don) in this article.
Anti Kagame protestor

Kagame quoted lots of statistics in his speech
I asked to interview President Kagame for the BBC. His press person sounded hopeful, but turned me down at the last minute. He did speak to my BBC colleague, Komla Dumor. You can watch it here.

Kagame also spoke to Chris McGreal of The Guardian (who met him in Kigali).

Member of Kagame's security outfit - he was wearing an earpiece and kept scanning the crowd for troublemakers

Kagame with his prize

Protestor's egg

Smashed eggs run down the glass front of the Said Business School

Mounted police were called in to control the protestors. There were reports of two arrests

More egg

It was quiet inside the Said Business School

This 'commando' wouldn't tell me about his red belt

Strategic seats were reserved for Kagame's security team



  1. Well done everybody that attended, important he doesn't get an easy ride, need to derail his PR machine a little !

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