KIGALI, RWANDA (AP) - When a British journalist tweeted that Rwanda’s longtime president was “despotic and deluded” he got a sharp reply _ from the African leader himself, setting off an unprecedented online spat between a head of state and one of his critics.
Birrell, a former editor at The Independent newspaper and a former speechwriter for British Prime Minister David Cameron during his 2010 campaign, sparked the exchange Saturday by tweeting: “No-one in media, UN or human rights groups has the moral right to criticise me, says despotic & deluded (Kagame).”
The same day, along came a comment Kagame himself: “Not you either…no moral right!”
Kagame is renowned for his role in helping to end the 1994 Rwandan genocide during which more than 500,000 people were slaughtered, though human rights groups have questioned his record in recent years. He was re-elected last year after opposition parties were banned from the vote. An opposition Rwandan journalist was killed and a top opposition political party said some of its members were beaten by police while in detention.
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