- Central Africa
Rwanda: Hotel Rwanda hero accused of supporting rebellion
Hotel Rwanda hero, Paul Rusesabagina, renowned for saving Tutsi targets from Hutu extremist during the 1994 Rwanda genocide, has been accused of supporting a Hutu rebel group in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
"We have solid evidence of Rusesabagina’s involvement. He [Rusesabagina] had acted together with [jailed] opposition leader Victoire Ingabire,” Rwanda’s Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, told Rwandan public radio.
According to reports, the 56-year-old former hotel manager, has been a spoken critic of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, recently disapproving Kagame’s re-election and the arrest of opposition leader Victoire Ingabire.
Despite Rusesabagina’s Good Samaritan status across the world, President Kagame allegedly considers him [Rusesabagina] a pretender.
In a backdrop of political antagonism between President Kagame and Mr. Rusesabagina, Ngoga, claims there are evidence of money transfers by Rusesabagina to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels, who operate from the eastern Congo.
The allegations brought against Rusesabagina, the man who used his connections as a hotel manager to protect hundreds of people from the Hutu militias killing the Tutsi minority, has raised eyebrows across Africa and the international community.
Rusesabagina however, claims: "It is the latest step in a campaign against me by the Rwandan government that has included public insults from the president himself, lies and physical harassment. I’m not a man of violence... But anyone who opposes Kagame is treated with this kind of harassment."
However, the chief prosecutor claimed the accusation was verified by former FDLR commanders, including one who was arrested last week and is the tribunal’s main witness.
The former FDLR commander and witness in the tribunal attest that Rusesabagina funds members of the FDLR rebellion which includes key perpetrators of the 1994 massacres.