By Tatien Ndolimana Miheto
Mr. Rusesabagina, it appears that you seem to be ignoring the Rwandan adage, “You can’t drink the milk from the same cow that gives you meat”.
I have monitored and analyzed many of your conferences, articles and interviews. In this regard, I draw to the attention of your attentive audience a revealing and disturbing fact of your deceit and dishonesty. In fact, the message of Rusesabagina the politician is the opposite of the message of Rusesabagina the hero of the film Hotel Rwanda.
Indeed, on the one hand, the politician Rusesabagina denies the planning of genocide against Tutsi by the perpetrators of that genocide, defends them in courts, fights for their impunity and their rehabilitation.
On the other hand, he shamelessly accuses the RPF (which defeated the perpetrators of genocide in 1994, and which he considers a Tutsi movement) of planning the genocide against the very same Tutsis that he presents as incumbent members of the RPF.
Rusesabagina, as the hero of the film Hotel Rwanda, inspired the film to affirm that the genocide against the Tutsis resulted from the ethnic ideology of the 1960s and to confirm that this ideology is a negative consequence of Belgian colonization in Rwanda.
The film confirmed that in 1960s and for decades the Hutu leaders preached that the Hutus were the majority, that Rwanda belonged to the Hutus, and that the Tutsis were invaders that should be docile or if not hunted and killed.
When consulting on the film, Rusesabagina urged the film to depict that the genocide was preceded by a long and continuous campaign urging the Hutus to hate the Tutsis, by arrests and killings of Tutsis.
In essence, as depicted in Hotel Rwanda, the core message of the film is that the genocide was prepared, organized, tested and finally perpetrated in April 1994 against Rwanda’s Tutsis by Hutu militias and their government.
Mr. Rusesabagina, you left Rwanda in 1996 because your political line could not stand up to the socio-economic and political programs of the RPF, nor could your aberrant aspirations of leaving genocide perpetrators unpunished, you and your former political party, the MDR, were not able to oppose the strength and the determination of the RPF to implement its own political program.
Today, 17 years after your departure from Rwanda, you have developed quite a reputation. Oddly, your dishonesty makes you turn on the opportunity that made you famous i.e. the main message of the film Hotel Rwanda, which informs the general public that you are a hero who saved Tutsi and that the Tutsis were victims of a planned genocide.
Indeed this genocide was preceded by acts of genocide against the Tutsis (in 1959, 1960, 1963, 1967, 1973), and was prepared for decades until it was eventually tested (in 1991, 1992, 1993) to be effectively carried out in April 1994.
That reality of the planning of the genocide, which represents the culmination of the ideology of Hutu supremacy, is documented all over the world by hundreds and thousands of individual and reliable international institutions.
But Rusesabagina the hero of the film, who confirms this reality through that film, is the opposite of Rusesabagina the politician who deny today the very same reality in his writings and in his speeches.
You’re not ashamed to cynically call out as responsible these Tutsis who have been victims of that genocide, among them those you have protected and saved as falsely played in the film. You are not different from other genocide deniers.
Needless to say, revisionism and denial of the genocide against the Tutsis – or any other genocide – is the final stage of genocide.
All renowned genocides have been revised or simply denied by their planners and/or their supporters and partners.
Paul Rusesabagina, your actions and political statements reflect your duplicity vis-à-vis the core message of the film Hotel Rwanda; your actions reflect also your ingratitude for the Tutsis used by this film to create the man you are today i.e. the famous savior who protected refugees in his “own” hotel during the genocide. Yet the reality regarding those refugees is that you played no role in their survival.
You use this fictional heroism in a political struggle against these survivors of genocide who were with you in Hotel Rwanda and against all other survivors of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis.
Indeed, today you trivialize that genocide and desecrate the memories of the victims by daring to declare that the genocide was planned by the Tutsis themselves.
Your dream is to chase down those who defeated the genocide perpetrators and to establish the power of the Hutu for the Hutu (as the slogan of the genocide perpetrators in 1994 goes).
In other words as if the dividends of the film Hotel Rwanda were not enough, you are trying to also earn dividends from the genocide by trying to live a Rwanda dominated ethnically but also politically by the Hutus whereas you very well know that a big number of Tutsis have been massacred by the genocidaires.
You don’t hesitate to advocate a power based on the ideology of the Hutu majority, which is a reincarnation of the genocidal ideology itself.
As a result, Rusesabagina (the good humanitarian hero of the film Hotel Rwanda) is totally the opposite of the real Rusesabagina, a bad politician and false humanitarian in the name of Rusesabagina Hotel Rwanda Foundation who has no survivor of genocide on his humanitarian records.
In conclusion, I bet that you can’t drink the milk from the same cow that gives you meat, meaning you can’t earn dividends from these Tutsis (survivors of the genocide) used by the film Hotel Rwanda to promoting you and later earn dividends from a political agenda that discriminates the same survivors of the genocide.
And I regret that you use your conferences to teach untruths and to call for ethnic hatred against those you designate falsely as a group of Tutsis that dominates Rwanda and marginalizes Hutus. This is of course a false affirmation, as evidenced by every objective person who has a true understanding of Rwanda’s political, social and economic realities.
You should instead address the topics chosen by the organizers of these conferences, or at the very least propose a measured political program for a modern Rwanda in line with globalization.
You use the great platforms and opportunities you are given to preach messages of hate against the RPF and its leaders that you falsely persist to identify as a Tutsi dominated movement, a rhetoric that don’t suit the role of an orator invited by respected individuals and institutions
Let us revisit the famous heroism that allegedly lies behind the reputation of the man who is today a renowned orator on Rwanda.
When the genocide against the Tutsis began in Rwanda in 1994, a good number of threatened people fled to “Hotel Rwanda” from 07/04/1994 onwards. Meanwhile, Rusesabagina arrived there on April 16 1994.
He finally moved in with us in the hotel on 02/05/1994, and before that (between 16/04/1994 and 02/05/1994) he worked at the hotel from 7am to 5pm without spending the whole day at his office, as he often spent more time outside of the hotel. He went back home every evening to spend the night with his family, away from the hotel.
He started to live with us in the hotel late on 02/05/1994 just for facilitating his family’s evacuation abroad – an evacuation organized by UNAMIR in accordance with the FAR (the then Rwandan army) and the RPF (the then rebels) for all refugees of the hotel that was scheduled from 03/05/1994 even if it only started on 27/05/1994.
In the other word, since the date of 03/05/1994, he decided to remain with us (refugees) in the Hotel until our evacuation instead to go back to his home because he estimated the place secure enough.
If we, refugees, survived from 07/04/1994 to 16/04/1994 before the arrival of the famous fictional hero in Hotel Rwanda, and between 16/04/1994 and 02/05/1994 while the so-called savior lived outside the hotel, it was thanks to important factors other than his alleged role.
Any informed and objective person, who understands how the genocide against the Tutsis took place, knows that even a senior officer of the Rwandan army acting in his own name could not stop the genocide perpetrators from attacking Tutsi strongholds, such as the very known Hotel des Mille Collines (Hotel Rwanda).
Rusesabagina, a hotel manager acting in his own name, had no strength to oppose or to influence the genocidaires who controlled everything.
In my humble opinion, the key factors that contributed to the survival of the refugees of the Hotel des Mille Collines were the following:
1.Hotel des Mille Collines (Hotel Rwanda) and a few other sites in Kigali were declared protected sites by UNAMIR (UN) from 7 April 1994 onwards. To fulfill this mission and to protect the refugees in the hotel, ten UNAMIR soldiers commanded by Lt. Col. Cyprien Moigny were deployed and stationed at the hotel between 7 April and the end of the genocide.
The UN flag was raised from the top of the hotel, and armored UN vehicles were parked at the entrance of the hotel to protect the refugees.
2.Presumably after consulting with the French Government, the Government of Rwanda and its army decided to reserve (protect) groups of Tutsis gathered in places like the Hotel des Mille Collines (Hotel Rwanda).
These Tutsi were supposed to be used by Rwanda and by the French Government to incite the UN Security Council to deploy a rescue mission, thereby resolving the issue of a military intervention in Rwanda – under the guise of protecting Tutsi refugees, but in reality to block the victory of the RPF – Inkotanyi over the Rwandan army.
We all remember France’s infamous “Opération Turquoise”, originally designed to operate from the west of Rwanda up to Kigali, using Hotel Rwanda as one of its main operational sites.
3.The RPF-Inkotanyi had a few people in the area under its control, who wanted to join their families in areas controlled by the government army.
This situation has created a certain logic around the 20/04/1994, as confirmed (to our crisis committee) by General Dallaire and Colonel Moingy who commanded the “Hotel Rwanda” UN protected site (that hotel has been considered and called by UNAMIR, one of his protected sites at that time), of exchanging refugees who wanted to return to RPF-controlled areas from the Hotel des Mille Collines and other such protected sites, with those who wanted to return to government-controlled areas.
Indeed, it is well known that our survival has finally been conducted by this operation of exchanging refugees between government controlled and RPF-controlled zones.
4.From their offices in Brussels, the owners of the Hotel des Mille Collines, Sabena, also played a key role, by protecting their hotel against looting and destruction, thereby also sheltering the refugees inside. Sabena used its influence to protect us.
5.The calls for help that we launched (via telephone and fax) from the hotel, mainly before Rusesabagina started working at the Hotel des Mille Collines, also played a role in our survival.
I, for example, have documents attesting that the survival of refugees from the Hotel des Mille Collines Collines is also due to the key roles of the former Luxembourg Defense Minister, his colleagues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Belgian Ministry of Defense and the UN Security Council. Some of these documents at my disposal are dated 13, 14 and 15 April 1994, before the arrival of Rusesabagina at Hotel des Mille Collines.
Author is, Former Coordinator of the Crisis Committee of the Refugees of “Hotel des Mille Collines” during the Genocide against the Tutsis
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