Following the US drone strike that killed Al Qaeda head Ayman Al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden said: “Now, justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more. People around the world no longer need to fear the vicious and determined killer.” He continued: “no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out.”
After hearing such statements, Rwandans can only shake their head in incredulity. As this was happening, Rwandans are awaiting the visit of US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken who, according to a lobby group in the US, will “ask Rwanda to release Paul Rusesabagina.” Remember, this is a convict serving a 25-year sentence after competent Rwandan courts of law found him guilty of terrorism. Yet a government like the US’s that actively eliminates people suspected of terrorism (with no trial) is said to be preparing for a Rwandan terrorist tried with all due process?
This is a travesty that one hopes Blinken isn’t party to.
Until his arrest, terrorist Rusesabagina was the subject of an International Arrest Warrant for multiple charges, including terrorism, arson, kidnap and murder. The crimes were 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 and 2022, a few days before CHOGM, which took place in Kigali.
During his trial, the court heard that his foundation- Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation (HRRF) – had been collecting money from well-wishers it used to fund terrorist activities of FLN, the armed wing of MRCD-Ubumwe. Dozens of FLN fighters and officials arrested alongside Rusesabagina testified in affirmative about Rusesabagina being the main funder and leader of the terrorist group.
Yet we hear that a lobby group in America is working with terrorist Rusesabagina’s family to have the US “pressure Rwanda” on trumped up claims that he is “innocent”, and that this is because he was “a US resident!”
Even when part of the evidence against Rusesabagina includes his own words (YouTube footage) where he declares to use “all means possible” (including violence, like his FLN did in Nyabimata) to unseat the lawful, elected government of Rwanda.”
The US government ought to dissociate itself from the malarkey of Rusesabagina’s groups.