Ethiopia Angola Uganda Eritrea Swaziland Central African Republic Gabon Algeria Cape Verde Senegal Sudan Somalia Cameroon Congo Democratic Republic of Congo Morocco Niger Benin Botswana Burkina Faso Burundi Chad Tanzania Togo Tunisia Comoros South Africa South Sudan Djibouti Rwanda Zambia Zimbabwe Sao Tome and Principe Sierra Leone Gambia Ghana Guinea Equatorial Guinea Guinea-Bissau  Côte d'Ivoire Kenya Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liberia Lesotho Malawi Mali Madagascar Egypt Mauritania Mauritius Mozambique Namibia Nigeria

Paul Rusesabagina jailing sparks row with Belgium

  • 2021-09-22 07:58:38
  • News

Rwanda has called off high-level talks with Belgium, in the latest twist to a diplomatic row over the conviction of the man who inspired a Hollywood film about the 1994 genocide.

In a statement, Rwanda said Belgium had shown "contempt" for its justice system after it criticised the 25-year prison sentence handed down to Paul Rusesabagina - a Belgian citizen of Rwandan origin - for terrorism.

Rwanda's Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta was due to meet Ms Wilmès on the side-line of the UN General Assembly in New York this week, but the meeting has now been cancelled.

Rusesabagina,67, was found guilty on Monday of backing a rebel group involved in deadly attacks in Rwanda in 2018 and 2019.

Belgium's Foreign Affairs Minister Sophie Wilmès said he did not receive "a just and fair trial".

In the Oscar-nominated movie Hotel Rwanda, Rusesabagina, played by Don Cheadle, was shown as a hotel manager who managed to protect more than 1,200 people who had sought shelter during the genocide.

In a period of 100 days from April 1994, 800,000 people, mostly from the Tutsi ethnic group, were slaughtered by extremists from the Hutu community.

Some survivors have gone on to question the version of events in the 2005 film.

The US, where Mr Rusesabagina’s family lives, also questioned whether he had received a fair trial.

 

Writers