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Critic Of Rwanda Government Paul Rusesabagina Kidnapped In Dubai And Taken To Rwanda

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

A staunch critic of the Government of Rwanda, Paul Rusesabagina, has been kidnapped in Dubai, UAE, and taken to Rwanda where he was arrested for alleged murder, terrorism, and arson, among other serious criminal charges. That was reported by some media on September 1, 2020. Probably to confirm the arrest, Rwanda Investigation Bureau is said to have paraded Mr Paul Rusesabagina to the public at a press conference in the capital Kigali on August 31, 2020.

Paul Rusesabagina (66), a former hotel boss in Kigali, reportedly saved more than 1200 people from been massacred during the country’s 1994 genocide, by sheltering them in his hotel. He then became a global celebrity instantly in 2004 when his incredible act of heroism was made into a Hollywood movie called Hotel Rwanda in which he was portrayed by actor Don Cheadle.

After the release of the movie, Paul Rusesabagina fled Rwanda, and had since been living in Belgium and USA, according to some sources. He also became a fierce critic of the Government of Rwanda and particularly President Paul Kagame who he seemed to have earlier supported or at least been in good terms with.

How Paul Rusesabagina was kidnapped and taken to Rwanda where he was arrested is unknown so far, albeit authorities there are said to have mentioned issuing an international arrest warrant for him.

Notwithstanding, however, the kidnapping and eventual arrest of Mr Rusesabagina may not be surprising to many, because the Government of Rwanda is said to have warned its opponents abroad that they will be hunted down wherever they are or what it called pay the price. The warning followed indirectly, an incident in 1994 by which another staunch critic of the government, namely Patrick Karegeya who was based in South Africa, was gunned down in Johannesburg by what Rwanda’s opposition as well as the Government of South Africa said were hitmen belonging to the Government of Rwanda. So, Mr Rusesabagina may be very lucky indeed to be brought back home alive!

The current government in Rwanda has been lambasted in various quarters, locally and internationally, for authoritarianism and suppression of the opposition.


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