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Rwandan president sworn in for second term

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Thousands turned out Monday for the inauguration in the capital Kigali
  • Paul Kagame was elected last month with 93 percent of the vote
  • He is credited with transforming the country after a genocide that left 800,000 dead

Nairobi, Kenya (CNN) -- Rwandan President Paul Kagame has been sworn in for a second seven-year term.

Thousands piled into a stadium in the capital Kigali on Monday and watched outside on big screens as the former rebel commander was sworn in to the cheers of the assembled citizens.

Kagame won the August 9 ballot with 93 percent of the vote, according to the Rwandan National Electoral Commission.

"This is your victory, this is a victory for all Rwandans," Kagame told supporters during a celebration speech after the vote last month. "Our development depends on you."

Kagame's inauguration comes 16 years after Rwanda's genocide left at least 800,000 people dead. Militias made up of ethnic Hutus slaughtered ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus nationwide in 100 days of violence.

The killing ended when Tutsi-led militias backing Kagame ousted the Hutu government supporting the massacre.

In the aftermath, Kagame transformed his country, turning it into one of the fastest-growing nations in Africa and -- in the view of some -- a model of economic and social development.

But some groups promoting the freedom of press criticized his strong rule, saying his administration quashed coverage of the campaign by media outlets which had published articles critical of Kagame's leadership.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Rwanda's Media High Council -- supported by the government -- banned two weekly newspapers in April for "purportedly inciting violence and criticizing the head of state," the committee said on its website. Some journalists and editors also reported being harassed and receiving death threats for negative coverage, the group said.

CNN's David McKenzie contributed to this report