Udayavni Special

Who is ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero, Paul Rusesabagina and why has he arrested?

Team Udayavani, Sep 14, 2020, 11:35 AM IST

Paul Rusesabagina, whose heroic actions during the 1994 genocide were depicted in the Oscar-nominated movie “Hotel Rwanda”, has been arrested by the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB)

RIB announced that  Rusesabagina, who lives in Belgium, had been detained “through international cooperation as he has been accused of terrorism.

RIB said that Rusesabagina is suspected to be the founder, leader, sponsor and member of violent, armed, extremist terror outfits including MRCD and PDR-Ihumure, operating out of various places in the region and abroad

Paul Rusesabagina

According to AA, Paul Rusesabagina was born on June 15, 1954, in Gitarama, southern Rwanda. He reportedly holds Belgian citizenship and a US Green Card.

He worked at Hotel des Mille Collines in the capital Kigali during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi ethnic group, the hotel then ran by Sabena, a Belgian aviation company.

Rusesabagina took charge of the hotel from April 16, 1994, a week after the genocide, in which more than 1 million people were killed, had started. He gained fame after the 2004 Hollywood film Hotel Rwanda.

In the film, he is portrayed as a brave man who did his best to save the threatened Tutsi who had sought refuge in the hotel.

He claims to have rescued 1,200 Tutsi who had sought refuge in the hotel, using his influence as its manager to bribe and convince military officials to secure a safe escape.

However, survivors at the hotel claim that Rusesabagina did not hide or save Tutsi from the genocide. He reportedly centralized all authority, where he could allow in or reject whoever he wished.


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