FACT CHECK: Did Rwandan President Paul Kagame Deport 18 Chinese Nationals?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A post shared on Instagram claims Rwandan President Paul Kagame deported 18 Chinese nationals.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that Kagame deported any Chinese nationals. The claim has been circulating since 2020.

Fact Check:

Rwanda has strengthened relations with China in the past few years and Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the country in 2018, according to China Daily, a Chinese state-owned news outlet.

The Instagram image claims Kagame recently ordered the deportation of 18 Chinese nationals for mistreating Rwandan workers. Kagame allegedly said, “Rwanda is for Africans and those who mean well for us. I am directing the 18 Chinese investors to leave Rwanda immediately and must never return back.”

There is no evidence any of this occurred. Check Your Fact found no credible news reports about such a development. A search of the Rwandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s website also did not yield any results about the deportation of Chinese nationals.

Yolanda Makolo, a spokesperson for the Rwandan government, stated on Twitter that Kagame did not deport 18 Chinese nationals. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show Covid-19 Relief Packages In Rwanda?)

“Hello @Sophie_Mokoena. This is fake news. Didn’t happen,” she said in response to a tweet asking if the claim was true.

The Rwandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation dismissed the same claim in a 2020 tweet.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation would like to inform the public that there has been fake news circulating on various social media platforms stating that 18 Chinese citizens were expelled from Rwanda; no such thing happened,” reads the tweet. “Please ignore.”

The Chinese embassy in Rwanda likewise denied the claim in a statement to Africa Check in May 2021, stating it “hasn’t heard about any of the deportation regarding the claim.”

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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