Kigeli V: A king who scorned corruption now lives exiled in Virginia

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Timothy Longman, College of Arts & Sciences, African Studies Center

Today, almost 238 years since the Declaration of Independence was signed, a king lives in Virginia. He is not of England, or even Europe. Rather, his story began in one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most war-torn countries; Rwanda. Gradually, it played out westward until he and a loyal friend found themselves just south of Washington, DC….

Expert quote:

“Kigeli lived modestly in Nairobi for many years. He was known to hold court every Sunday afternoon in front of a movie theater in downtown Nairobi. There were many Rwandan exiles in Kenya, and he served as a support to the community. I am not familiar with why he ultimately came to the United States, but life if of course much more expensive here. I have heard that he was supported for a time by the Ugandan government, when it was in conflict with Rwanda during the Second Congo War. I believe that he has also depended on support from the Rwandan exile community in the US.”

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