Paul Kagame has Always Been Jealous of Humanitarian Paul Rusesabagina
By: Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation
A Response to Hotel Rwanda or the Tutsi Genocide as Seen by Hollywood by Alfred Ndahiro and Privat Rutazibwa
By Paul Rusesabagina
April 6, 2008
For the last 5 years, Rwandan President Paul Kagame has been waging a fierce smear campaign against me and my actions. All of this started in 2002 when for personal reasons I declined an invitation from the President's office to attend genocide commemoration ceremonies in Kigali, during which the President intended to officially recognize me for having protected refugees at the Mille Collines Hotel at the height of genocide. Things got worse two years later when film producer Terry George painted me as a hero in the movie Hotel Rwanda. Inspired by my personal genocide experience, the film aimed to bring awareness to the world's audience about the horrors of the biggest crime of all.
The movie premiered with immediate success, prompting several high profile personalities and humanitarian organizations to express their profound admiration and cheer me on in my humanitarian line of work. That is how I started, in 2005, Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation, with a view to assist victims of genocide, both Hutu and Tutsi, without discrimination. I also launched the idea of setting up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Rwanda. In April 2006, the Viking Penguin publishing house released my autobiography, An Ordinary Man: the true story that inspired the movie "Hotel Rwanda". Also, after Hotel Rwanda came out, I have been frequently invited to give lectures, notably at colleges and universities in Western countries. At my lectures, I rail against genocide and other crimes against humanity committed in Rwanda, including those committed by President Kagame and his army, the RPF. On November 15, 2006, I wrote the prosecutor of the ICTR in Arusha, Tanzania, to formally file a criminal complaint against General Paul Kagame and members of the RPF high military command.
Eager to silence me over my inconvenient pronouncements and to sully my image, President Kagame has resolved to fight me head on, in the process vowing to trample evidence and falsify the history of genocide as it occurred at Mille Collines Hotel. In the throes of apparent jealousy and frustration for seeing an ordinary civilian man collecting honorary distinctions from many organizations and world leaders for his action during genocide, President Kagame has appeared ready to do anything, including predicating his own fate to that of prisoners held hostage in Rwandan jails. With the only goal of wiping out my reputation, he has not shied away from using the most reprehensible tactics, such as striking an alliance with some genocide suspects held at Kigali Central prison, commonly known as 1930. That's how his closest associates have enlisted the services of a notorious hate peddler, former RTLM journalist Valérie Bemeriki, as well as Amri Karekezi and Grégoire Nyirimanzi, both of whom were Councilors of Kigali City's Biryogo Sector and Nyakabanda Sector respectively during the genocide. There is also a certain Setiba, an infamous genocide suspect involved in several massacres at the Nyabarongo and Giticyinyoni roadblocks.
Besides these genocide suspects held hostage in prisons, President Kagame's most loyal servants have also hijacked scores of genocide survivors of Mille Collines Hotel, and have bought from them falsified testimonies accusing me of complicity in the genocide and ill-treatment against them while under my care. A handful of cowards among them have succumbed to this terrible tactic of institutionalized defamation. Odette Nyiramirimo, Tatien Miheto Ndorimana, Egide Karuranga, Bertin Makuza, Christophe Shamukiga, Yolande Mukagasana, and Jean de Dieu Mucyo are part of this select group. The President's office believed that they had gathered key ingredients for the authoring of HOTEL RWANDA or the Tutsi Genocide as seen by Hollywood, a book recently published by L'Harmattan. The book is nothing but a compilation of egregious lies cooked up by two Rwandan academics, Alfred Ndahiro - an advisor to President Kagame in communication and international relations, a man who never lived in Rwanda until Kagame brought him to the president's office - and Privat Rutazibwa, a defrocked priest who once headed the Rwandan Information Agency, and is a journalist, writer, and ideologue for President Kagame's political party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). These false testimonies are recycled by such populist media as Radio ContactFM 89.7, the daily The New Times, and the Rwandan Information Agency, all of which were created and are fully funded by President Kagame and his inner circle for the only goal of smearing opponents.
The overdrive to erase history facts has caused these puppet survivors to forget that they once freely volunteered their testimonies to credible western journalists in the immediate aftermath of the genocide long before they were sucked into this on-going retraction campaign. Their statements today lack any foundation and serve only to discredit the deponents. The twisting of their own testimonies about genocide goes as far as changing the context of their arrival and stay at Mille Collines Hotel. They even dare to claim that this Hotel, the best in Rwanda at the time, was in fact a Concentration Camp similar to the ones set up during the genocide of Jews in Europe. But such a comparison is nothing but an outright insult to the memory of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust who endured the atrocity of real concentration camps.
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