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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Tuesday's Connector: Paul Rusesabagina

April 19th, 2010
12:49 PM ET

Paul Rusesabagina is credited with saving the lives for more than 1,200 refugees during the Rwandan genocide that claimed over one million innocent lives.

Rusesabagina, who was born in central Rwanda to a farming family was the assistant manager at the Hotel des Mille Collines at the onset of the genocide that was perpetrated by members of Interahamwe militia.

The Interahamwe targeted people of the Tutsi race and also moderate Hutu's at a time when the country was in the middle of both political and racial tensions.

During the 100 day genocide, Rusesabagina helped to shelter more than 1,200 people at the hotel and used many of his business and political connections to help keep the building both secure and safe.

With the help of the United Nations, Rusesabagina and his fellow refugees were able to escape the hotel on a convoy of trucks and eventually fled to Tanzania.

After the genocide with over, Rusesabagina and his family returned to Rwanda for two years before finally moving to Belgium.

Much has been written about Rusesabagina and his story, and the 2004 film "Hotel Rwanda" became a Academy award nominated movie for best picture.

Please leave your comments below.

soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Paul Rusesabagina and CNN friends,

    I would like an answer from Paul Rusesabagina to the following questions:
    – What is your opinion on the current situation in the Republic of Rwanda?
    – What needs to be done to Connect All the people living in the Republic of Rwanda with the rest of the world?
    – What is your opinion on hotels, taxi, trucks, and other companies in the Republic of Rwanda?
    – What can we expect from you?
    – How are you inspiring people all over the world to make our world a Better Healthier and Beautiful Place?

    I am awaiting Paul Rusesabagina’s replies.

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname

    April 19, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  2. Joan

    I saw the movie last night as part of a Race and Ethnic Relations class. The film was very well done. In the film your wife wears a cross. Are you a Christian? If so, how did your faith relate to your experience?

    Is there something else you would like to share with my class regarding your ordeal or how people can prevent or assist resolution to future genocide situations?

    God Bless You –


    April 19, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  3. Mike Kay

    Paul, I have been in Rwanda and interviewed many of the people that you survived the genocide from the Hotel; the majority of them say that you did not shelter them out of your good heart, you instead charged them money and those who did not have money , YOU chased them out to be killed. Don't you feel ashamed going around telling lies and collecting money from lies?
    You have also been collecting money for your foundation claiming that it is for helping the orphans of the genocide; how much money have you truthfully gone to those orphans (not to your trucking and other business)?


    April 19, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  4. gigi

    Well, Paul Rusesabagina was different from the interahamwe only because at least he accepted to be paid to let people stay in the hotel. If there had been no money in the equation, then Paul would not have hesitated to kill all those refugees himself. His love for fame and riches is on dispaly even today as he continues to deny the genocide and its causes so that he can accumulate money and fame.

    April 19, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  5. Able NOBLE

    Mike Kay & Gigi, I hope you're simply joking. It used to be, Rusesabagina was regarded as a hero by the Government of Rwanda before Hotel Rwanda made him a celebrity and then his ordeal with the government started. Where were those people who accuse him now of all those rubbishes? Can't you smell politics in this? By the way, to believe the stories of paying for their stay in Hotel des Milles Collines, where did they get money from? Remember, they fled for their lives and sought a hiding in that Hotel, and they didn't plan for that. It all happened in one night, and the following morning went all dark. They didn't had time to go to banks to withdraw that money they talk about. And in Rwanda there was no technology to pay using bank cards? Then, where from did they get money to pay? Were they signing in a notebook and hence lodged and fed on debt to be paid after the genocide if by any chance they survive? Why don't you ask them that to know the whole truth behind that? Believe me, I'm fed up of those heartless stories against a man who showed heart to the people in need when they needed it most. That is too much

    April 19, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  6. Katie

    Mr. Rusesabagina, was there ever a point where you felt that none of you would make it out alive?

    April 19, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Reply
  7. Able NOBLE

    Another side of the story: it may be true (I say it may be, because I wasn't there) that those people who fled with some money were asked to hand it in order to keep buying the needed food to feed all the people who were sheltered in Hotel des Milles Collines. Remember, Hotel des Milles Collines was not a World Food Program stock to have enough food to feed all the people who went there, unexpected and beyond the capacity of the hotel that time, and consequently not catered for. Do you call that paying for their stay? Claims like these are nothing but ungratefulness. And it makes me feel bad, and sad.

    April 19, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Reply
  8. Kitty Kurth

    After the genocide Paul Rusesabagina left his beloved Rwanda and now splits his time between Europe and the United States. He speaks about his story as well management and business issues around the world. He still works to build peace in his country as the Founder and President of the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation. The Foundation works to prevent future genocides and raise awareness of the need for a new truth justice and reconciliation process in Rwanda, the Congo, Burundi and the Great Lakes Region of Africa to work toward sustainable peace.
    Mr. Rusesabagina's work has included condemning the violence and human rights abuses of current Rwandan regime, which sometimes leads to fanciful attacks from its backers. For the real story, please visit http://www.hrrfoundation.org

    April 20, 2010 at 2:16 am | Reply
  9. onze hyud

    Paul is no longer taken as a hero in Rwanda because people now know the truth about his story. Even his film had lost credibility nationwide. He claimed to save people but that was nothing but lies. I would like to ask him why currently seem not to be in good relationship with Kigali government. During the genocide commemoration week Rwandans would rather watch "As we forgive" by Laura waters Hinson instead of his film. This video shows that he is not in good relationship with the government taht stopped the genocide while he claims to hide people :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbJz-BUg3QM

    April 20, 2010 at 3:31 am | Reply
  10. Mauricio

    Hi Paul, your story is truly fascinating. I have some personal links to that horrible situation and was truly captivated watching the film and then reading more about you.

    In your opinion, how could this terrible genocide have occurred in modern times while the rest of the world watched? What was the reason the international community didn't do anything until it was too late?

    If we can learn from the past, I truly hope something like this will never happen again.



    April 20, 2010 at 3:42 am | Reply
  11. Oluwabi

    Paul u ar truely an hero at least he collectd money but d fact is dat dere life ar saved and dey ar livin 2day we all ar human beign we all av both d gud and d bad side but pertainin 2 d genocide in rwanda thru his initiative he turn an hotel 2 refugee camp and save 1200 life and dat make him an hero

    April 20, 2010 at 3:48 am | Reply
  12. Festus Jamu

    What really went thru ur mind when u helped those pple?I watched d movie,the extend of d fear in pple's eyes is heart-touching?We luk 4ward 2 a whole free of war

    April 20, 2010 at 4:19 am | Reply
  13. Lulu

    My entire spent in Rwanda, one common theme on Paul Rusesabagina, from all my friends and collagues there, he is not a hero. The nicer comments were that he didnt do anything special compared to the other heros from the genocide, and some of the harsh comments were he is murder based who killed the poor. What is the truth? I imagen the truth is that he was the first to make money off his story and it was blown up by Hollywood. Prob not a murder, just an opportuntist who has taken advantage of all who he has encountered. CNN, do your research before making post like these.

    April 20, 2010 at 4:24 am | Reply
  14. rcm

    How close was the movie to the real thing?

    April 20, 2010 at 4:27 am | Reply
  15. Simon

    I totally agree with the coments of Mike Kay and Gigi,that Rusesabagina just did it for money , then rode the wave of opportunity and fame by claiming to be the kind hearted man who saved all those poor people from the genocide. The truth is if that guy has not been paid he was going to be the first to kill those refugees and if the Western Media has not chose to promote him by now nobody was going to know that name. For those who were not able to pay you and you throw them to your butcher friends shame on you Rusesabagina

    April 20, 2010 at 4:45 am | Reply
  16. Femi S. Balogun

    Mr. Paul your story is very impressive and impactful. I have two questions for you sir,
    1. What was your driving force during the genocide? What really pushed you do go that extra mile.
    2. why did you stay away from politics in Ruwanda? Brave men like you should take up leadership positions as exhibited during the crisis.
    Mr. Paul as a student of history i salute your courage and i personally recognise you as one of Africa's finest true leaders.

    April 20, 2010 at 4:59 am | Reply
  17. Steven

    Paul is a good guy which i know,god will bless him,talking about the money he use it to settle those stupid army

    April 20, 2010 at 5:00 am | Reply
  18. Onah emmanuel

    Paul is a hero for kicking against humilation and killing of innocent soul at gunpoint even if he had charged some people for money.

    April 20, 2010 at 5:03 am | Reply
  19. Diodemise patrick

    One of my best film is hotel rhwanda. Am fully touched in that movie and the wife of paul made the film to be more real because of the way she cries.

    April 20, 2010 at 5:09 am | Reply
  20. Olufemi S. Balogun

    Mr. Paul your story is very impressive and impactful. I have two questions for you sir,
    1. What was your driving force during the genocide? What really pushed you do go that extra mile.
    2. why did you stay away from politics in Ruwanda? Brave men like you should take up leadership positions as exhibited during the crisis.
    Mr. Paul as a student of history i salute your courage and i personally recognise you as one of Africa's finest true leaders.

    Femi: from Lagos, Nigeria

    April 20, 2010 at 5:11 am | Reply
  21. Swat priscilla usman

    I luv u becos u did gud work.

    April 20, 2010 at 6:02 am | Reply
  22. Diana

    Hotel Rwanda is a good movie, but its just a movies and it is not based on a true story. Rusesabagina did not save people out of mercy, he was only doing business by sheltering people in return for paying him money.

    April 20, 2010 at 6:12 am | Reply
  23. Bally

    Welldone paul money or no money at least you have saved lives,how many africans have such heart to do the same thing you did.

    April 20, 2010 at 6:15 am | Reply
  24. Abhinav

    To MIKE KAY – He coudnt transform the Hotel into a Refugee camp otherwise it would transform into a target. He charged people to show that he was maintaing the Hotel as an institution which was essential to maintain the support he got from his connections.

    April 20, 2010 at 6:31 am | Reply

    QUESTION: Do you believe the Genocide might repeat itself any time in the future? If yes, how do you think we should prevent this from happening?

    April 20, 2010 at 7:20 am | Reply
  26. Okhipo

    If these alligations of you collecting money from people to stay in the hotel are anything to go by then you do not deserve all the kudos given you. If you think otherwise, kindly explain why you took money from these refugees.

    April 20, 2010 at 7:23 am | Reply
  27. Daniel

    Thank you Mike Kay for those questions that you have for Paul Rusesabagina. I do have the same questions,what if those people who are funding him out of their good heart find out that he did what he did because of money and fame/glory? What if those good people findout that they are in fact helping him to expand his businesses and not to help the orphans? What if the money raised is actualy channeled to the INTERAHAMWEs-FDLR to support their cause and buy more weapons so they can go back in Rwanda and finish the "Job" (killing). There are facts to prove this!

    Please, go to Rwanda and ask people he chased out of the hotel because he did not like them or because they did not have money! His foundation may well provide Rusesabagina and his kin with assistance, but one has yet to meet a survivor of Genocide in Rwanda the foundation has helped. I kow of none- either a widow or an orphan!

    April 20, 2010 at 7:40 am | Reply
  28. David Fitzpatrick

    Good afternoon Sir.
    A lot has been said and written about what happened in Rwanda. There are very few stories of people like Mr. Rusesabagina who did everything they could to save lives. I have read extensively about Rwanda and I also have been there.

    My questions for Mr. Rusesabagina are:
    "What is your impression of the Canadian General, Mr. Romeo Dallaire, who was in charge of the UN operation? It seems as if he and his soldiers were left to fend for themselves and were given very little in terms of support.

    Do you think that he did all he could ?

    Do you believe that the UN and countries such as the US, France and Belgium should be held responsible for their inaction?
    and lastly,

    Do you believe that harsh criticism aimed at the UN from someone such as yourself may serve to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again?

    Thank You

    April 20, 2010 at 7:40 am | Reply
  29. muhammed jamiu kabir

    tha film is an interesting movie,i enjoy it very much,please let me know when your new film will come out

    April 20, 2010 at 8:15 am | Reply
  30. Emeka Nwanna

    Requesting for money before assisting people whose lives were in danger is not one of the attributes of a hero. Paul may not be a murderer but he's certainly not my hero. Emeka Nwanna, Nigeria.

    April 20, 2010 at 8:18 am | Reply
  31. Sharif Chowdhury

    Of course there many unknown heroes as well but again the movie is inspiring and eye opener for many who have no idea how cruel we human can be and at the same time how few brave ones can risk their own lives to save others....

    April 20, 2010 at 9:01 am | Reply
  32. Church!ll

    It taks a gud man 2 do what mr paul did. So pple shod encourage others 2 do gud by encouragin him, rather than critizin his actions on many frenzy reasons.

    April 20, 2010 at 9:18 am | Reply
  33. Oscar onyekachi

    Paul may or may not be your hero but if he had save even a life for money in such a situation then he is worthy of praise. Life for me is a higher good.

    April 20, 2010 at 9:55 am | Reply
  34. Thomas Chemelil

    Hi Paul,
    Tell me Paul,what difference exists between the Paul of HOTEL RWANDA and Paul the Individual?

    I at times find the Paul of the film too good to be believable. Tell me the difference.


    April 20, 2010 at 9:58 am | Reply
  35. Otiegbe chisom

    Mr. Paul i thank God rwanda had some one like you during the genocide,imagine if there were more like you then there would probably be more survivors. I don't get it when people who don't understand the meaning of the word 'GENOCIDE' accuse paul of lying and taking money to spare lives,what happened to your govt.,they don't know how to take money to save lives or they don't know how to save lives and take money,maybe because Rwanda has no oil or diamonds like afghanistan or zimbabwe? Millions were brutally massacred,the world leaders did nothing,YOU did not go to Rwanda to research on how to stop the genocide,you talk about money been taken,shame on You all.

    April 20, 2010 at 10:04 am | Reply
  36. Think it through a little, people?

    Come on, team, think it through a little? 1,200 people crammed into a hotel "for money"? A person who is interested primarily in money is interested primarily also in their personal comfort. Enough running water, food, space for themselves. 12 people sheltered primarily "for money"? Credible. 120 people sheltered "for money"? Borderline between credible and non-credible. 1,200 people sheltered "for money"? Non-credible. NON-credible.

    Perhaps - I don't know the man - perhaps it started with a profit motive. Perhaps the first 12. Perhaps. But by 120, with the sound of gunfire and the sight of smoke and the smell of rotting death on the air, if he is still taking people in, if there was any profit motive, it is by 120 borderline at most. By 1,200, he was saving lives. By 1,200 people, THAT was his primary motivation.

    The worst that one can say about the man is that he is human. If it began with a profit motive, it did not end with one: his motivations evolved positively and massively. He made a very large difference. The best that one can say about the man? That he is exceptional, that he did something to inspire.

    April 20, 2010 at 10:10 am | Reply
  37. Williams D.Paz

    I think the most importan thing here is that because of him the world could know what was going on there. If nothing else, just to show that we did nothing to prevent or stop that horror.

    Before pointing our fingers to a man that did what was possible in that time, we should be discussing why United Nations just looked in another direction.

    April 20, 2010 at 11:09 am | Reply
  38. Daniel

    I live in Rwanda, I am not at all involved in politics of this country. But would somebody point me ,just one genocide widow, one genocide orphan that Paul's foundation has helped? Please, I am in need to know at least one person- I would love to visit him/her.
    The move raised an awareness of what happened in Rwanda, and that is great, but please never say again that Paul is a hero. He is not!!

    On May 18, 1994, Mr. Michel Houtart, the President of Sabena hotels instructed Rusesabagina to stop rejecting those who could not afford payment. He however refused and instead hosted those who could afford to pay. The rest were chased away. The family of the Late Anselme Sakumi (who died during the genocide), spent over two hours outside the hotel pleading with Rusesabagina to be allowed into the Hotel. He refused them entry until someone called Muvunyi
    gave him a cheque as a guarantee of payment. He also got cheques from different people, which cheques he would withdraw from Banque de Kigali – Gitarama branch as testified by Louis Kigerinyange who used to work with the bank.

    April 20, 2010 at 11:24 am | Reply
  39. eric

    Paul Rusesabagina,

    You're the Hero of Rwanda! I think you're doing a good job.

    God's blessing.

    April 20, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Reply
  40. Germain

    Daniel, the answer to your question in plain and simple, if you are in Rwanda and KNOW the workings of the government there, as you claim.

    Today The new times published a story about top generals who have been locked up. This includes one Lt. General Muhire, a very educated man, who was recently promoted and Mj. General Karenzi Karake who was the top rwandese general in Darfur. That shows that no one is safe in Rwanda. Two other high ranking generals fled the country last month.

    Last week all private newspaper that were critical of the govt were shut down. Opposotion leaders are being harrassed by the same govt. Any one interested enough can find all this on the internet, If I had the time I would right much more.

    Do you really expect that same government to allow Paul Rusesabagina's Foundation to operate in Kigali, after the way he's exposing all their wrongs. If it's true that you can't find on person in that country who has been helped by the foundation it is because the govt there is getting in the way.

    Now you claim to be a neutral observer with no interest in politics. This is only possible in two ways; either you are an expatriate or (from the fact that you are well spoken in english) are benefiting from the inequalities that exist in rwanda today. Most people who would support Paul Rusesabagina, in Rwanda, are too scared to make comments on these public forums, as you should know Mr "neutral politician".

    April 20, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  41. Daniel

    Germain, still what you have written doesn't answer my question. If what you are saying were taken as truth, and Paul can't operate in Rwanda, should he go on raising funds in the name of orphans and widows who survived genocide? Now where is all that money going? Was it the current government tha asked Paul to save only those people who had money to pay for their lives and later to pronounce himself a hero?
    What you highlighted above should not distract us from the main point- what Paul did to "save" those people and fundraising in the name of widows and genocide orphans only for his personal and political gains .
    Thank you

    April 20, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  42. Germain

    I'm not speaking for Paul and as a matter of fact I don't know what he uses the money for. Also I was not in that hotel so I can't get into the argument about how he saved or did not save people. I know one thing though;

    – I am very grateful for the people who saved my life in the genocide, and I know most of them can't step into Rwanda today for fear of persecution. Some of them actually perished in Remote areas of Rwanda and I will always regret that I couldn't return the favor.

    – I personlly know of people who are equally grateful to this man, Paul Rusesabagina, for saving their lives. But due to the politics in Rwanda they have to go with the official story and pretend like he wasn't their hero. I hold nothing against these people because, for survival I would probably do the same.

    So you see everything I said earlier is not a diversion from the main point. They are some harsh realities about Rwanda that people need to know to understand the extent of the problems in Rwanda.

    I know your question about the accountability of the funds he raises is valid. CNN should make him answer to it and explain himself. But at the same time we shouldn't be the judge and the jury for what he's accused to have done in 1994.

    April 20, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  43. Roldan

    To: LULU – Please do not pretend to know better Rwandan situation than Rwandans. I strongly disagree with those western who tend to be more Tutsi or more Hutu within and outside of Rwanda.

    If you are an expatriate, I know where you might have met your friends- in Kigali city, around the pool, in nice hotel where you met your friends who are close to regime. Lulu, know this … your friends fed you lies. The next time you talk to your friends ask them to explain to you why Rwanda has more exiled politicians (Tutsi and Hutu alike) than any other African countries.

    To Germain: You are in Rwanda and you think everything is Okay?
    If your answer is yes, why no opposition leaders can move freely in Rwanda?

    Please do not be naïve as that is not contributing to anything for better/ future Rwanda desperately need.
    Apart from personal emotions you are blindly supporting – who knows Kagame regime better than General Kayumba, former Rwandan Army chief of staff and ambassador to India who recently fled South Africa?
    Lt. Karegeya, former Rwandan external intelligence, now in South Africa
    1/ Former speakers of parliament, Sebarenzi, now in the USA
    2/ Former Rwandan ambassador in the Netherlands, Bizimana
    3/ Former foreigner minister Andre Bumaya,
    4/ Former Minister of Defense Habyarimana – JUST to name few because I am sure you know the really reality in Rwanda.

    Also, to the best of my recollection. Paul Rusesabagina clearly explained on BBC how the Kagame regime impeded his programs in Rwanda. Just know that “In the end; the truth will win”

    April 20, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  44. Edouard Kayihura

    Dear Paul,
    You know who I am as I know you, for we were BOTH at the Hotel during the 100 days. You know that we both know the truth of what happened there, except you have made a career now out of hiding that truth from the world. Many here have talked about your soulless profiteering and their tales are true; you know it to be so.
    I have so many questions to ask you, Paul; so many that it would be most efficient if we were to meet publically to debate. Remember, though, that while you have an un-fact-checked Hollywood movie behind you, I have the rest of the 1200 survivors behind me. All of them. We would all love the opportunity to confront you on the stories you have sold, the ones where you claim to have saved us all, all by yourself. The world needs to know the truth, for it has bought into lies for far too long now.
    Were it only that you profited from us during our time of struggle as well as gaining fame and fortune for things you did not do, but your destructive political behavior since the release of your movie needs to be stopped. Yes, like everyone else, you have a right to your opinions, frightfully misdirected as they may be. To you, our mother nation is still one of “Hutu good; Tutsi bad,” and that peace-loving Hutu are nothing more than “empty suits,” to quote you directly. You speak today identically as those on RTLM hate radio spoke in 1994, goading on an overthrow of a government by any means necessary. No one would listen to you, Paul, except that Hollywood has made you a saint based upon nothing more than your own say so. Well, I am here to debate your claims, each and every one of them, for like you, I WAS THERE.
    To those of you who know nothing more about the truth of what really happened in the “Hotel Rwanda” than what Paul alone told the movie makers, feel free to contact me, for I have not only what my own eyes did see and my own ears did hear, but also the testimonies of the others who were there. Only then might the world know the truth and push aside your hateful and divisive agenda.

    April 20, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  45. Egide Habimana

    Believe it or not Paul Rusesabagina is a true Hero of our times, there is no doubts about that. The ones who don't believe it are driven by their hatred and their own political and ethnical motivations. Thanks Paul for everything you've done to save those who were in danger in those dark days of Rwanda.
    I got a privilege to meet with Paul R. when he was giving a conference at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He is a very quiet and humble guy, an "Ordinary Man" like he says it in his book. It was an honor for me to sit down with him and share some thoughts. Thanks again Mr Paul, you are always a Hero in hearts of many. God bless you.

    April 21, 2010 at 7:14 am | Reply
  46. J Kayigamba

    Myself, as a former refugee at The Mille Collines, know a lot about the Rusesabagina's saga. Why people continue to take the film Hotel Rwanda as the truth of what happened, while as everyone knows it just Hollywood fiction? Surely yourself knows that you did not save anyone of the 1,000 or so refugees. Why can't you explain your relationship with the genocide ring-leaders like General Bagosora and Gen Bizimungu whith whom you were dining and wining (drinking champagne) at the Hotel every night, while most of us were starving?
    Why are you abusing this instantly-gained, but unmerited fame to distort the history of Rwanda touring the world saying that the genocide was caused by the long tim e grivances of Hutus who were enslaved by the Tutsis? Why whever you go to places you are always sheletered from people ( survivors and others) who want to confront you about your misguided asseration that you saved people?

    You have hoodwinked people for so long. You are no Schindler!!!

    April 21, 2010 at 8:17 am | Reply
  47. yovita

    The ONLY way to know the truth? Ask the 1200 people Rusesabagina is supposed to have protected? POINT BLANK.

    April 21, 2010 at 10:58 am | Reply
  48. Yzabelle

    I am relieved that so many Rwandese, especially the ones who actually were at the Hotel des Milles Collines during the fatal 100 days, have had the courage to speak the truth about this so-called hero. A hero he is not. Like thousands of people at that time, he exploited the victims' sufferings and fears, and - oh! the irony! - became famous because of them. The real heroes, the silent heroes, those who hid people at the risk of their own lives, who fed them for days, weeks, these are the men and women who should be thanked for and remembered on the sad day of the 7th of April. And everyone should remember that, even in Rwanda, God's truth comes out eventually and shines on all of us.

    April 22, 2010 at 1:10 am | Reply
  49. Daniel

    Thank you Edouard Kayihura, J Kayigamba, yovita, Yzabelle!! I wish so many Rwandans who know about the claims of Rusesabagina had access to this public forum! They would tell the world all the truth and expose Rusesabagina's lies! I believe one day, Rusesabagina will be answerable/accountable to the people for the money he has extracted to "support genocide widows and orphans!" One day, the world will know the hidden agenda behind all his lies!!

    April 22, 2010 at 11:16 am | Reply
  50. Yzabelle

    And please do not forget the huge amounts of money he has extracted from Americans and its leader at the time, Gearge Bush, to built his army of mercenaries...

    April 22, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  51. Edouard Kayihura

    “Hotel Rwanda” portrays Rusesabagina Paul as an insider who knew many of the most powerful people in Rwanda, yet who himself remains apolitical.
    The real Rusesabagina was not only politically active in Rwanda, but an active member of the MDR party which became the MDR power to carry out the genocide (facts that are conveniently obscured by his characterization in the movie). People should know that at the time the genocides ensued, he was manager of the Hotel Des Diplomats, which become the de facto headquarters for the Hutu Power extremists—the movement that had been planning the genocide for several weeks. When he came to take over the hotel Mille Collines two weeks after the genocide started, they were more than 500 refugees in the Hotel. Given his proximity to these radicals, it is reasonable to conclude that he knew more about the events to come than the movie would suggest.
    It is bad enough that the success of “Hotel Rwanda” has made Rusesabagina into a very wealthy, powerful man, one who also fancies himself a great humanitarian. Far more disturbing is the fact that Rusesabagina has used his platform to champion Hutu extremist politics, raising money for causes that have less to do with helping survivors than revenge. In speech after speech he has shown no compunction for contradicting certain facts portrayed in the movie—not to mention his own memoir, published in 2006—to suit his agenda.

    April 22, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Reply
  52. Kayiranga J

    Edouard Kayihura. Yovita, Izhabelle,J.Kayigamba, Daniel...You are just liars !! What you are saying here is jut politics and not the truth. You should be ashamed by your hatred against Rusesabagina Paul.Keep grinding your teeth but Rusesabagina Paul is a HERO. I wish we could have had many people like him during genocide. You are trying to sell your lies to foreigners who don`t know very well about Rwanda. Those who read this blog and who would like to see honest and grateful survivors of the Hotel des Mille Collines,I will recommend them to get in touch with one of them who works now at VOA (voice of America in Washington).That guy is Thomas Kamilindi,a honest and truthful man.

    April 23, 2010 at 5:48 am | Reply
  53. Emmanuel

    Mr P Rusesabagina is a very conterversial man and he does not do himself any favour in continuing to peddle a lie that he saved more than 1,200 Tutsis, according to him, using "words" as he stipulates in his autobiography "An Ordinary Man". I think the people to blame is Hollywood which did not do the ground work and found out that the whole saga is just a fallacy. Let me ask you all supporters of Rusasebagina, would he accept to meet his detractors to debate the course of events and what happened, I mean the circumstances that led to the refugges at Mille Collines not being attacked.

    The fcat is that while this number of Tutsi were at the Mille Collines in a very precarious situation, there were thousands and thousands of Hutu families, most of them belonging to senior army officers in the genocidal army. It appeared that RPF had threatened represails in the event the Tutsi at the Mille Collines were killed. That's is the only major factor that helped people at the MC to stay alive till the excganges between both sides were thanks to the negotiations by Romeo Dallaire, the former UN Peace Force commander who had remained in Rwanda despite the lack of enough forces!

    The rest is just utter rubbish!!!


    April 23, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Reply
  54. J Kayigamba

    To Mr Kayiranga - In French there is a saying " mentez, mentez toujours, il en restera quelque chose" ( loosely translated that you can't lie all the time, because soon or later you 'll be caught on your own game". The same applies to Rusesabagina and his Hoolywood fame. Soon or later, the story that he saved over 1,000 Tutsi will be exposed as mere fabrication because if you followed his talks around the globe, he does not hide hios true colours: a former stauch of MDR Parmehutu, a party that propagated the divisions of Rwandans before and after independence made of Hutus from the South of Rwanda, his home region. But why does he go around saying that he is of mixed ethnic family, as a way of hoodwinking people about his extremist ideology. He is not humanitarian. He is using the MC story for his own political agenda. Simple! The rest is just mere Hollywood fiction.

    April 23, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  55. Karim le Rwandais

    Please ! Give anought time to Mr. Rusesabagina and i'm sure he will be able to respond to all those insults!
    I know this guy save a lot of lives and deserves all credits for that..
    You are a he HERO Mr. Rusesabagina

    Karim le Rwandais

    April 25, 2010 at 12:10 am | Reply
  56. J. Kayiranga

    Mr Kayigamba,let me remind you that the truth hurts. You are caught by your own words. You have been lying and your lies are catching you.You guys sometimes think that the whole world is yours and must embrace your extremist ideology and lies ! Ibihe biha ibindi! Let me repeat again, if we had had many people like Rusesbagina during the genocide ,many more lives would have been saved.Extremism and hatred you are showing here on this blog put you just on the side of those who can`t help rwandans to live in harmony.We need honest and truthful people to build a peaceful and united country where all human rights are respected and all people have equal opportunities.

    April 25, 2010 at 10:28 pm | Reply
  57. theo

    As a person who is been served by respected Mr.Rusesabagina.I would say that without his help I would not be living by this time.people never appreciate .............................

    April 25, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Reply
  58. Edouard Kayihura

    Kayiranga, I am not a liar because I was there. Were you? If not, how can you call Rusesabagina a hero? The movie is based on Paul's own tales. Rusesabagina did not save us, yet his phony heroism gives him political clout which he is using in terrible, destructive ways.

    General Romeo Dallaire, the UN General who was composited in the film and portrayed by actor Nick Nolte, said this about Rusesabagina: “I deployed U.N. Military Observers with radios at the entrance to the hotel to report immediately any attempt by the Interahamwe (Hutu militia) or the RGA (Rwandan Governmental Forces) to enter the hotel. Indications are that the hotel manager (Rusesabagina) did everything in his power to have these UN soldiers removed from the hotel. I also received unconfirmed reports that the manager (Rusesabagina) had given RGA General Bizimungu a list of hotel guests and room numbers (Bizimungu was one of the chief architects of the genocide). The UN soldiers changed around the room numbers of the most threatened.” General Dallaire also confirmed that he was never approached by the filmmakers and knew nothing about the film until its release.

    Odette Nyiramilimo, an actual friend of Mr. Rusesabagina, who was portrayed by name in the movie, said, and I quote: “The director, Terry George, was in Rwanda for a couple weeks before they started making the film. I read the script and I told him that this is not what happened. He told me that it’s a film; it’s not a documentary. It was supposed to be fiction.”

    Who really saved us? It must first be noted that the hotel was a UN-protected site. The UN flag flew over our compound. Inside the hotel were UN peacekeepers and in front of the hotel there were UN peacekeepers with their armored cars.
    Also, as Emmanuel mentioned, the government compromised with the militias that the refugees in the Hotel Mille Collines would be exchanged with their people in the RPF zone.
    In addition to the splendid work of UN General Dallaire, Bernard Kouchner of France, a founder of Doctors Without Borders, visited us and also facilitated the negotiation between the RGA and RPF to exchange us. These facts do not appear in the movie. Since then, though, Paul Rusesabagina has taken full credit for things that these others have done. One could not even add that Mr. Rusesabagina assisted these truly heroic men. In fact, he impeded their efforts.

    Even if Rusesabagina had the good will to save us he could not do it because he had no means to protect 1200 people. Many people who survived the genocide, including myself, were helped by Hutu who graciously and bravely hid us. Paul claims that he protected us by bribing the killers. The Hutu who tried to take such stands publically were among the first people killed.

    April 26, 2010 at 12:35 am | Reply
  59. Daniel

    Thank you so so much Edouard Kayihura, who could deny those facts!

    April 26, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  60. antitesiis


    09/11 was a internal job

    April 28, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Reply
  61. DT. Birekyeraho

    Paul, I understand that you may be harbouring an interest in at one time leading Rwanda. Are you able to avoid the temptation of making your campaign one that isn't focussed at ethinicity, or is ethinic dominance not something you consider?
    Would you like the next president (after Paul Kagame) to add on what Kagame has built, or would you like to see a revolution?

    April 29, 2010 at 5:24 am | Reply
  62. mugisha

    After the genocide Paul Rusesabagina left his beloved Rwanda and now splits his time between Europe and the United States. He speaks about his story as well management and business issues around the world. He still works to build peace in his country as the Founder and President of the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation. The Foundation works to prevent future genocides and raise awareness of the need for a new truth justice and reconciliation process in Rwanda, the Congo, Burundi and the Great Lakes Region of Africa to work toward sustainable peace.
    Mr. Rusesabagina's work has included condemning the violence and human rights abuses of current Rwandan regime, which sometimes leads to fanciful attacks from its backers. For the real story, please visit

    April 29, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  63. Thomas Chemelil

    Come on guys. 1200 people cramed in a Hotel and the Interehamwe cannot see them! What a lie!

    July 31, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  64. Manga

    Any one interested in the truth?....My wife is a survivor of genocide. She was in Hotel Rwanda.This is what she witnessed: Paul charged money everyday, those who didn't have money didn't stand a chance, would be thrown into a lion's den. Low level people would drink water from swimming pool. By the way, Hotel Rwanda was surrounded by government army and militias. According to her, check points were set up in every entry and exit of the Hotel. The murderers new how many tutsis were in the Hotel. What saved them was that also in the same Hotel were friends and families of government and army officials. So, hostage swap between RPF and Rwandese army was facilitated by possible general Dallaire of Canadian UN forces stationed at the compound. In the meantime, Rusesabagina was picking every penny out of hostages before swap could take place.

    September 17, 2010 at 6:40 am | Reply
  65. Gwira

    Paul is a liar...nothing but a fake. He attempted to give a speech in California claiming that Hutu civilians were the victims and Tutsi were not. I am a Tutsi and I was there, other Tutsi objected of course and so did many white Americans who knew the truth. Even the attempt to make a claim as such is ridiculous enough without even mentioning the truth of his so-called 'hero' story....what a fake, he disgusts me.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:44 am | Reply
  66. Dawn Ferguson

    I know it has been ages since Hotel Rwanda went out and it was emotional to watch but I have just watched a copy lent to me....as it was so long since release I decided to preview comments and it has left me with a bad taste in my mouth reading these previews. Has Paul Rusesabagina or others who he "has saved" had the opportunity to read this website because I am a believer in free speech and have noticed that no-one he knows, claims to have been saved or wants to speak out .... have comments on this site. Perhaps if someone from this list would care to comment....then I may pay attention to all the reports!!!!
    Edouard Kayihura Apr 20 2010 – why are no-one addressing this letters if they are attempting to prove a point!! Surely Paul Rusesabagina should have the opportunity to reply and if he does not then perhaps questions should be asked!!!!!!!

    November 29, 2012 at 12:33 am | Reply

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