Take Two

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Alex Cohen & A Martínez

Is Rwanda's President Paul Kagame a savior or authoritarian leader?

by Take Two

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Rwanda's President Paul Kagame listens to proceedings during the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in Kampala on October 8, 2012. The Presidents and representatives of the Great Lakes Countries are meeting in Kampala to discuss the security situation in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). AFP/AFP/Getty Images

What do actor Don Cheadle, Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Pastor Rick Warren have in common? They are just the California contigent of a long line of American lunimaries who have made pilgrimages to visit Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

He has been the President of Rwanda since 2000, and is a leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, the group cited as reponsible for overthrowing the government in 1994 and ending the Rwandan Genocide.

But Kagame has become quite a controversial and polarizing figure. Human rights groups have criticized him for his military action in Congo, while ex-President Bill Clinton and President Obama have supported him.

Stephen Kinzer, professor of International Relations at Boston University and author of "A Thousand Hills," about the Rwandan leader joins the show to discuss his book.

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