January 4, 2016

Clinton Foundation Ally Condemned By The State Department

Yesterday, the U.S. State Department condemned Clinton Foundation ally and Rwandan President Paul Kagame for seeking a third term as president following a vote on a constitutional amendment allowing him to do so:

The United States is deeply disappointed that President Paul Kagame has announced his intention to run for a third term in office. With this decision, President Kagame ignores an historic opportunity to reinforce and solidify the democratic institutions the Rwandan people have for more than twenty years labored so hard to establish.

Kagame has long worked with the Clinton Foundation, a relationship The New York Times said was “born of a deeply respectful friendship between Mr. Kagame and Mr. Clinton.” Kagame is a “regular at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual meeting” and, when giving Kagame CGI’s Global Citizen Award in 2009, Bill Clinton called him a “brilliant man” who “freed the heart and the mind of the people.”

Despite Bill Clinton’s claims, Kagame’s subversion of the democratic process in Rwanda is not his first brush with human rights violations:

The United Nations, the State Department and members of Congress have accused the Kagame government of disregarding human rights, aiding armed rebels in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo and suppressing political opponents and the media, at times violently.

The New York Times raised concerns about the conflicts of interest the Clintons might have in dealing with Rwanda. In addition, Kagame’s own former chief staff worried that Hillary Clinton “might gently criticize, but they [the Clintons] will not break the relationship just because Kagame has decided to be president for life.”

These revelations are just the latest in a long string of Clinton Foundation conflicts of interest. Kagame’s decision to go around the democratic process raises the question of whether Hillary Clinton will condemn the actions of her husband’s friend and business partner, or will she bend to the influence of her family’s foundation.