Rwandan President Paul Kagame is happy to discuss what makes an African strongman

PERSONAL BUSINESS IS WHAT’S BROUGHT THE President of Rwanda to Manhattan. Paul Kagame’s daughter is graduating from Columbia University with a master’s degree in international affairs. “I probably will have to come back in two weeks again,” Kagame says of his U.S. visit, in a room in the Park Hyatt, half a block south of Central Park. “My son is graduating from Williams College.”

His country, meanwhile, is marking an anniversary. It was 25 years ago that some 1 million Rwandans were murdered, a genocide that went unchecked by Western governments. The slaughter lasted until guerrilla forces led by Kagame drove the killers from the country that he has ruled since—six years in the de facto capacity of Vice President and since 2000 as President.

The trauma still defines Rwanda,

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from TIME

TIME2 min readPolitics
New Freedoms For Women In Saudi Arabia Draw Cheers—and Doubt
SAUDI ARABIA HAS ANNOUNCED SWEEPING reforms to its system of wilayah, or guardianship—a jumble of regulations that dictate what women can and can’t do on their own, and that Human Rights Watch has said constitute “the most significant impediment to r
TIME4 min read
A Guide To The Ides Of 50
I’VE BEEN FIELDING A LOT OF questions about dating apps lately. There are 2 a.m. texts like: “Is 55 too old to go on Tinder?” And existential laments like: “I thought I was just leafing through photos but it turns out I was swiping yes, yes, yes, whe
TIME2 min readPsychology
It’s Not About Linking Gun Violence And Mental Illness
BETWEEN “CALLS FOR ACTION” AND OFFERS of “thoughts and prayers,” legislators across the political spectrum, ranging from Senator Bernie Sanders to President Donald Trump, were quick to assign blame to mental illness following the two recent mass shoo