By Fred Gashema
A group called ‘Rwanda Bridge Builders’ – which is an umbrella of genocide deniers and negationists, as well as terrorist organizations – last week issued a joint statement in which they tried to sanctify Paul Rusesabagina, recently arrested for terrorism. They accused the Rwandan Government of “carrying terror activities on Rwanda’s territory and abroad”. Their move, however, is seen by many as playing the sympathy card as members of the coalition “are frightened that they will end up facing justice in Rwanda just like it has happened with Rusesabagina.”
With 38-member signatories that include even representatives of Rusesabagina’s MRCD-Ubumwe, and Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC among others, the statement was first published by Commandonepost, one of the anti-Rwanda propaganda websites sponsored by the Ugandan regime. Uganda, observers of regional politics know, supports most of the groups of the so-called Rwanda Bridge Builders.
The statement claimed that “Government of Rwanda has kidnapped Rusesabagina”, yet Rwandan authorities have shed significant light on circumstance under which the man was arrested.
In a televised talk show with RBA shortly after the arrest of Rusesabagina, President Kagame explained Rusesabagina “willingly brought himself to Rwanda and there was never any wrongdoing in his apprehension.” Neither has Rusesabagina in any of the interviews he has given said that he was a victim of kidnap.
In the statement, the anti-Rwanda’s groups tried to sanitize Rusesabagina as a “brave man” that used to work tirelessly to fight what they called “injustice” which they alleged is perpetrated against Rwandans by the current government. But all these narratives have been exposed as false over many years. The story of Rusesabagina as “a brave man” that saved 1200 Tutsi refugees at the Mille Collines hotel has been denounced as completely false by people that were there. “It is just a Hollywood creation,” Senator Odette Nyiramirimo who was there recently said.
Also, contrary to the groups’ assertions, Rusesabagina has admitted sponsoring FLN militia with 20,000 Euros as part of 300,000 Euros he had raised for the same terrorist militias that are responsible for terror attacks that claimed lives of unarmed and innocent civilians in South-West parts of the country in 2018 and 2019. This is while Belgian authorities were also investigating the Rusesabagina case for money transactions to the terrorist militias.
Social media users were quick to mock the statement by Rwanda Bridge Builders, stressing that partisans of the coalition were very frightened by increasing arrests of their big fishes, most notably the arrests of the likes of Rusesabagina and Félicien Kabuga the chief financier of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi.