Here is an open letter that Paul Rusesabagina sent to President Clinton regarding his recent comments about Rwanda on CNBC.
Office of President Clinton
55 West 125th Street
New York, NY 10027 March 22, 2013
Dear President Clinton:
I am writing you an open letter again about a topic that means much to us both, Rwanda and the Rwandan Genocide. I was very moved to read the recent interview with CNBC where you talked about what might have been in 1994.
During 1994, while I was at the Hotel des Mille Collines trying to shelter the people under my roof, and I tried to reach you and the rest of the international community. I tried by every means to reach the outside world and to ask them to help rescue my countrymen from the Hell that we were living in. I could not get any one to listen
then. I especially tried to reach you and your staff at the White House, to get you to hear our calls for help. I called and faxed and wrote on behalf of all Rwandans asking you to help stop the Genocide.
Neither of us could stop the horrors of 1994, but we each did our part. I protected the 1,268 people who came for shelter at the Hotel Mille Collines. You did what you thought you could do at the time. I know that the world outside Rwanda did not completely understand what was happening to us.
Today, we can do more. There are people dying in Rwanda and the Congo everyday. The Rwanda government signs peace deals with one hand and waves their militias in to the Congo to kill innocent victims with the other hand. You can talk to President Kagame and reason with him. There is almost no one else in the world who he WILL listen to, but he will listen to you.
I would like to ask you again to meet with me to talk about how we can work together to lead the way to a sustainable peace for Rwanda and the Great Lakes region of Africa. I am concerned that societal forces and the human rights violations and the closing of political space by President Kagame. He is creating an increasingly dangerous situation for the region. It is like a dormant volcano beginning to smoke. This is your opportunity to help make up for the international community sitting on their hands in 1994.
If we look at the economy and healthcare of Rwanda today it is easy to see a the seed of a turmoil being sown.
While there are economic gains being made by a few of the people, the many are suffering. I have attached a link to a study done which shows that unfortunately, the people in rural areas continue to get poorer, while the people in Kigali get richer. (See Rwanda Today When Foreign Aid Hurts More Than it Helps (http://hrrfoundation.org/
The story of healthcare in Rwanda is the same. Kigali is good, the countryside is horrible. This is one of the reasons that I was so happy that your Foundation opened a clinic in a rural area. We have heard of terrible health care problems in the rural areas, and, worse, nurses in Kigali being told to kill one out of every three Hutu mothers and children. These issues are examined in another report, Rwandan Healthcare Corruption and Inequality (http://hrrfoundation.org/
President Clinton it is a rare opportunity that you have with Rwanda. You could not be our savior in 1994, but you can be now.
My Foundation is small but our voice is big. We are working to create a stable, healthy society in Rwanda. A really free society where people can vote for who they want to vote for, people can write what they want to write and say what they want to say. We can not do this alone. We need to your help.
We will continue trying to convince the world that they can help to create an internationally sanctioned Truth and Reconciliation Commission and to create a real sustainable peace for the region. Don’t you want to join us in this historic endeavor? Please let us work together on the right side of history for Rwanda and the Great Lakes region of Africa, and for the world.
Let us meet and talk. We can not change the past, but we can change the future.
Peace, truth and justice,