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Rwanda's Kagame joins the social media revolution

Rwanda President Paul Kagame has started his own social networking website to promote his re-election bid. Meanwhile, Rwanda is still holding US professor Peter Erlinder for the nebulous charge of genocide denial.

By Laura SeayGuest blogger / June 14, 2010

Rwanda is still holding US professor Peter Erlinder on the nebulous charge of genocide denial.

Marc Hofer/AP

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This popped up on Twitter over the weekend: Paul Kagame has started his own social network to promote his re-election campaign. Which, come to think, might be an interesting indicator of his level of support if any other credible candidates were being allowed to run against him.

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In actual news from Rwanda, the government has a new listening post on the DRC border and arrested the head of its football federation just as the World Cup kicked off. 'Cause that's a great idea when you're facing bad global PR.

Speaking of, Rwanda is still holding ICTR lawyer Peter Erlinder under arrest despite his significant health problems.

Erlinder certainly has some off-base views about the genocide, but Rwanda is wrong to detain him for expressing them, particularly since he apparently never said anything controversial while in Rwanda.

The government is apparently primarily upset about things Erlinder said in the course of his work for the ICTR. And as this excellent piece from the NYT points out, the Erlinder situation is already having an effect on the tribunal's work. That's not good for Rwanda, for international transitional justice, or for the RPF's claims that their government is free and open.

--- Laura Seay blogs at Texas in Africa.

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