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Hotel Rwanda's Rusesabagina Asks Tony Blair to Denounce Paul Kagame's Activities in the Congo
Hotel Rwanda hero Paul Rusesabagina calls on Britain's Tony Blair to denounce Rwanda's Paul Kagame for his crimes in Rwanda, the Congo and the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
Dear Mr. Blair,
For many years I have been thankful that you have been interested in my beloved Rwanda. My name is Paul Rusesabagina. You might know my story from the movie Hotel Rwanda, or from my autobiography, An Ordinary Man.
During the 1994 Genocide 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 was very happy that you have been taking an interest in my country now.
However, I hope that you can see what is going on in Rwanda with a clear vision. I am afraid that you, like many others outside of Africa, have been shown only one side of our country, a kind of African Potemkin Village.
I believe that you do care about Rwanda. But, I also think that you need to see more of the real Rwanda. A few years ago, my foundation, the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation, issued a paper about the Rwandan economy. The paper chronicled the growing gap between Rwandans living in the City and those living in the countryside. Since we authored this paper, things have gotten worse, not better.
We also investigated the healthcare system in Rwanda and issued a briefing paper this summer which I am attaching to this letter. The report shows that the quality of healthcare services for the elite in Kigali is vastly superior to the level of healthcare that is available to people living in the rural areas. While I applaud the efforts of the Gates Foundation and the Clinton Foundation to increase health care facilities in the countryside, the problem is systemic.
This summer the international community has finally opened its eyes about President Kagame’s activities in the Congo. The UN Group of Expert’s reports have shown that Rwanda is clearly behind the crimes of M23.
Conflict Minerals looted in the DRC and paid for with the lives of millions of innocent Congolese men, women and even children fuel President Kagame’s jets. The price that has been paid to carry you and President Kagame around on these planes is too high. There is blood on the wings of those planes.
In 1994, I felt that you, and the rest of the international community, turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to our pleas for help. As I sheltered the 1,268 people at the Hotel des Milles Collines, I vowed that if we made it out alive, I would never be silent when I saw people being slaughtered. I cannot be silent today. I cannot stand by and do nothing, say nothing, when I know that President Kagame and his M23 thugs are murdering and looting in the Congo everyday.
Mr. Blair, I call upon you to show the moral leadership that I know you are capable of, and denounce President Kagame and his activities in the Congo. Call him and ask him to stop these deadly activities. Ask him to stop killing, jailing and exiling the journalists and political leaders in Rwanda. You are one of the few people in the world that he still might listen to, please stop him before more innocent people are slaughtered.
Please do not let your personal friendship with President Kagame stand in the way of your conscience. I know that you did not hear our pleas for help in 1994. Please listen to them today. You have a special relationship with President Kagame, please use it to save lives. Stop President Kagame.
Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation
More information about the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation can be found here, www.hrrfoundation.org