Demonstrators rallied in Toronto Saturday against a private visit to Canada by Rwandan President Paul Kagame, urging his arrest.

Shouting "No more killing!" and "Kagame is an assassin!" through megaphones, protesters brandished placards with photos of bloodied victims outside a luxury hotel where Kagame and his delegation were believed to be staying ahead of a meeting to mark Rwanda Day.

Toronto police, who along with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are providing security for the visit, escorted the roughly 200 demonstrators off the hotel grounds and onto the street. The protesters then set off recordings of sirens and called for Kagame's arrest.

Kagame is expected to address members of the Rwandan diaspora in Canada, and speak about his country's political and economic progress since 1994, when he rose to power after routing ethnic Hutu extremists responsible for a genocide that killed an estimated 800,000 people.

The Rwanda Day event has been shrouded in secrecy in order to deter demonstrators.

"We came here to protest against Kagame because he's a criminal," Pierre-Claver Nkinamubanzi, one of the organizers, told AFP.

"He killed a lot of people not only in Rwanda but in the Congo. He's responsible for the deaths of millions of people."

Kagame's government has come under fire for supporting a new militia in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the M23, which has raped, killed and displaced thousands of civilians in the eastern Kivu provinces.

 

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