Conflicts & War

Hotel Rwanda genocide ‘hero’ arrested

Kigali, Aug 31 (efe-epa).- A man who inspired the film Hotel Rwanda about the African nation’s 1994 genocide has been arrested on terrorism charges, officials said Monday.

Paul Rusesabagina helped save hundreds of Tutsis while he was manager of the Hotel Des Milles Collines in Kigali.

He was detained in the capital on an international arrest warrant for charges of terrorism and membership of an extremist group.

Mulangira Thierry, spokesperson for the Rwanda Bureau of Investigation, said: “Rusesabagina is suspected of being the founder, leader, sponsor and member of violent, armed and extremist gangs.”

He added that Rusesabagina is in custody at a police station in the capital’s Remera area.

The 66-year-old was a critical opponent of Rwandan President Paul Kagame and lived in exile in Belgium and the United States, where he created a foundation that promotes reconciliation to avoid future genocides.

He is the former manager of Rwanda’s most famous hotel, which housed more than 1,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus during the genocide to save them from extremist Hutus.

Rusesabagina was the subject of an international arrest warrant for offences including murder and kidnapping Rwandan civilians.

Prosecutors in the country have accused him of belonging to terrorist groups such as the opposition platform Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD-Ubumwe), which he founded and which has military arms that have carried out attacks in Rwanda.

Rusesabagina’s work in the Hotel Des Milles Collines inspired the film Hotel Rwanda in 2004 which was based on the story of the influential Hutu businessman.

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