Paul Rusesabagina, an ex-hotel manager whose heroic actions during the 1994 genocide were depicted in ‘Hotel Rwanda’, was arrested on Monday on terrorism charges.
Rusesabagina is famous for sheltering over 1,200 people, when extremists massacred more than 800,000 members of the Tutsi and Hutu tribes in 1994.
He was a Hutu manager of a luxury hotel in Rwanda at the time and his bravery is the real life inspiration of the 2004 oscar-nominated movie, ‘Hotel Rwanda’.
A Rwandan newsite, Newtimes, reported the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB), as saying that Rusesabagina has been the subject of an International Arrest Warrant for multiple charges, including terrorism, arson, kidnap and murder.
The newspaper quoted Thierry Murangira, acting RIB Spokesperson, as saying that the crimes were allegedly perpetrated against unarmed, innocent Rwandan civilians on Rwandan territory, including in Nyabimata, Nyaruguru District in June 2018 and in Nyungwe, Nyamagabe District in December 2018.
‘Rusesabagina is a leader – along with Belgium-based former Rwandan Prime Minister FaustinTwagiramungu – of the MRCD Ubumwe-FLN, a militia group based mainly in the east of neighbouring DR Congo.
His foundation – Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation (HRRF) – has been accused of collecting money from well-wishers it uses to fund terrorist activities of FLN, the armed wing of MRCD which is commanded by ‘Gen’ Wilson Irategeka, formerly with FDLR,’’ the paper reported.
The terror group,FLN, which has often attacked Rwanda from Burundi, has also been blamed for kidnapping civilians.
Rusesabagina is a fierce critic of the Rwandan president, Paul Kagame’s government and has accused them of killing opposition figures and detaining and torturing activists both at home and abroad.
Rusesabagina has been living in Belgium where he sought asylum with his wife and children since 1996.
This was after he survived an assasination attempt in Rwanda.