The Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation was founded by Paul Rusesabagina, the real life hero of the acclaimed film Hotel Rwanda. Rusesabagina, portrayed by Don Cheadle in the film, saved the lives of more than 1200 people during the Rwandan genocide and has been honored internationally for his heroism. The Foundation works to prevent future genocides and raise awareness of the need for a new truth and reconciliation process in Rwanda and the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Read more...
Paul Rusesabagina calls on Tony Blair to denounce Paul Kagame’s activities in the Congo
Office of Tony Blair
P.O. Box 60519
Dear Mr. Blair,
For many years I have been thankful that you have been interested in my beloved Rwanda. My name is Paul Rusesabagina. You might know my story from the movie Hotel Rwanda, or from my autobiography, An Ordinary Man.
During the 1994 Genocide I tried by every means to reach the outside world and to ask them to help rescue my countrymen from the Hell that we were living in. I could not get any one to listen
then. I was very happy that you have been taking an interest in my country now.
However, I hope that you can see what is going on in Rwanda with a clear vision. I am afraid that you, like many others outside of Africa, have been shown only one side of our country, a kind of African Potemkin Village.
I believe that you do care about Rwanda. But, I also think that you need to see more of the real Rwanda. A few years ago, my foundation, the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation, issued a
paper about the Rwandan economy. The paper chronicled the growing gap between Rwandans living in the City and those living in the countryside. Since we authored this paper, things have
gotten worse, not better.
We also investigated the healthcare system in Rwanda and issued a briefing paper this summer which I am attaching to this letter. The report shows that the quality of healthcare services for the elite in Kigali is vastly superior to the level of healthcare that is available to people living in the rural areas. While I applaud the efforts of the Gates Foundation and the Clinton Foundation to increase health care facilities in the countryside, the problem is systemic.
This summer the international community has finally opened its eyes about President Kagame’s activities in the Congo. The UN Group of Expert’s reports have shown that Rwanda is clearly
behind the crimes of M23.
Conflict Minerals looted in the DRC and paid for with the lives of millions of innocent Congolese men, women and even children fuel President Kagame’s jets. The price that has been paid to carry you and President Kagame around on these planes is too high. There is blood on the wings of those planes.
In 1994, I felt that you, and the rest of the international community, turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to our pleas for help. As I sheltered the 1,268 people at the Hotel des Milles Collines, I vowed that if we made it out alive, I would never be silent when I saw people being slaughtered.
I cannot be silent today. I cannot stand by and do nothing, say nothing, when I know that President Kagame and his M23 thugs are murdering and looting in the Congo everyday.
Mr. Blair, I call upon you to show the moral leadership that I know you are capable of, and denounce President Kagame and his activities in the Congo. Call him and ask him to stop these
deadly activities. Ask him to stop killing, jailing and exiling the journalists and political leaders in Rwanda. You are one of the few people in the world that he still might listen to, please stop him before more innocent people are slaughtered.
Please do not let your personal friendship with President Kagame stand in the way of your conscience. I know that you did not hear our pleas for help in 1994. Please listen to them today.
You have a special relationship with President Kagame, please use it to save lives. Stop President Kagame.
Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation
Hotel Rwanda’s Paul Rusesabagina Asks UN Security Council to Reconsider Rwanda’s Selection
Humanitarian Paul Rusesabagina, President and Founder of the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation (HRRF), wrote to the United Nations Security Council in the hope that they will take special note of Rwanda’s actions in support of the M23 rebels. He wrote, “I am asking you to consider whether this is appropriate behavior for an incoming Security Council member. I hope that you will re-consider the selection of Rwanda to this critical post.”
While it is a great blessing that Rwanda is able to take up such an important role on the most important international governing body, it is troublesome that they will be able to have a say in matters that involve decisions concerning their very own actions in the region.
My name is Paul Rusesabagina, and you might be familiar with my story from the film Hotel Rwanda (2004) or my autobiography, An Ordinary Man. Both tell the story of my experiences during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. More than 800,000 people were brutally slaughtered during this terrifying time, and I did everything I could to help save the lives of 1,268 people who took refuge at the Milles Collines Hotel. During those dark days of 1994 Genocide, I tried every means I could to get the international community to pay attention to what was happening and to ask for their help.
I am now asking for help from the international community once again, but now it is for the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The United Nations and the Security Council itself have recently called for all outside support to the Congolese rebels to be stopped.
Despite undeniable evidence that his government is assisting these rebels, Rwandan President Paul Kagame continues to deny involvement and responsibility.
Rwanda and President Kagame have recently been the focus of long overdue media attention regarding their support of the M23 rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This, of course, is only the most recent of many rebel groups supported by Rwanda since the conflict began. According to a leaked UN report and a report by a United Nations Group of Experts, Rwanda has been fueling the conflict in DRC and sending soldiers and supplies to the rebels. While Rwandan officials repeatedly deny these allegations, there is overwhelming evidence against their claims of innocence. Rwanda has a long history of provoking conflict in the DRC in order to assist in their exploitation of the country’s rich mineral resources and the profits it reaps.
I ask you to keep this in mind when dealing with members of Kagame’s cabinet if Rwanda takes it’s place in the Security Council. Please remember that the government of Rwanda’s methods of progress and political influence, which allows them to sit on the Security Council, have created gross violence, violations of human rights and loss of life throughout the Great Lakes region of Africa.
During the dark days in 1994, I tried by every means possible to get the international community to pay attention to what was happening and to ask for their help. I am now asking the same of you. I ask that you do not let Kagame’s dictatorial regime, with their newfound influence in the United Nations, hold power over important decisions regarding the safety and future of millions in my homeland, in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, and in the world.”
President and Founder
Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation
HRRF’s Paul Rusesabagina Calls for More International Involvement to Stop the Slaughter in the Congo; Applauds U.N. Security Council Action on Rwanda
For Immediate Release Contact: Kitty Kurth
November 21, 2012 Phone: 312-498-9279
CHICAGO – Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation (HRRF) President Paul Rusesabagina applauds the actions of Secretary General and the Security Council on Rwandan backed M23 actions in the Congo. Over the weekend, the U.N. Security Council held an emergency session to call for the M23 rebels to stop their advance further in to the Congo. Last night they adopted Resolution 2076 to demand immediate withdrawal of M23 rebels from Goma, the Congolese city seized days ago. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Rwandan President Paul Kagame over the weekend to ask him to intervene and stop the M23 offensive, according to a statement issued at U.N headquarters in New York.
HRRF President Paul Rusesabagina also calls upon the international community to intervene and stop the killing in the Congo. Rusesabagina said, “During the dark days of the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, I tried every means to get the international community to pay attention to what was happening. Today, I am pleading with them again. Do not let Kagame’s dictatorial regime and his M23 henchmen continue to kill and maim people, and then fill their pockets with conflict minerals on the way back home to Rwanda. It is estimated that more than 7 million people have already died in the Congo. How many more millions will the international community allow to die while we sit watching on the sidelines? The Security Council has demanded the immediate withdrawal of M23 from Goma and we need to make sure that happens before more slaughter ensues.”
Rusesabagina added, “For years I have warned about the Great Lakes Region of Africa being like a dormant volcano. I am afraid that the Rwandan backed M23 rebels are causing the region to begin to erupt.”
Here is the link to the UN Security Council press release which is excerpted below. http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2012/sc10823.doc.htm
“The Security Council this evening demanded the immediate withdrawal of the armed group known as the 23 March Movement (M23) from the major eastern Congolese city of Goma and the cessation of any further advances, calling for a clarification of reports of external support provided to the group and stating its readiness to act on the basis of information received.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2076 (2012) under the Charter’s Chapter VII, the Council strongly condemned the M23 for its resumption of attacks, its entry into Goma today and its attacks on the civilian population, on peacekeepers of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and on humanitarian actors, condemning in that context its abuses of human rights, including summary executions, gender-based violence and large-scale recruitment of child soldiers.
Demanding that “any and all outside support cease immediately” to the M23, the Council requested the Secretary-General to report in the coming days on the allegations of such support in coordination with the International Conference on the Great Lakes region and the African Union, expressing its readiness to “take further appropriate measures” on the basis of the report, including consideration of targeted sanctions against external supporters as well as the leadership of the M23. It called on all relevant actors to use their influence on the M23 to bring about an end to attacks.
Also in the coming days, the Council requested the Secretary-General to report on options for possible redeployments, in consultation with all partners, of MONUSCO personnel and materiel within the current authorized ceiling in order to better protect civilians and report on flows of arms across the borders of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Following the adoption, Congolese representative Seraphin Ngwej said the rapidly deteriorating situation had begun five days ago in North Kivu after attacks on his country’s armed forces. He said evidence was mounting regarding Rwanda’s involvement in the Goma war. What had resulted was grave suffering, loss of life, rape, the forced recruitment of children as well as the displacement of large numbers of people and the halting of economic activities.
He asked the Security Council to strongly condemn the Rwandan troops’ violations of human rights, to demand that Rwanda immediately end acts of aggression and to remove its troops from Goma and the country. He also asked the Council to urge an end to violence and all activities aimed at destabilizing his Government, to support its efforts to re-establish authority in the east of the country and to apply sanctions against all leaders in the M23 and the Rwandan officers cited in the mid-term report of the United Nations Group of Experts.
He hoped, he said, that MONUSCO would become better able to respond, with the goal of maintaining peace.
Rwanda’s responsibility in destabilizing his country had been established, he said, urging the Council to conclude that Rwanda had violated the United Nations Charter, in presenting a serious threat to international peace and security in the subregion, through the threat or the use of force against the territorial integrity of a State. The Council, he said, should take the necessary action to restore peace and security in North Kivu. Frank dialogue with Rwanda could resolve the current security problems, he said, calling on the United Nations to facilitate it.”
The Chicago based Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation, www.hrrfoundation.org was founded by Paul Rusesabagina, the real life hero of the acclaimed film Hotel Rwanda. Rusesabagina, portrayed by Don Cheadle in the film, saved the lives of more than 1200 people during the Rwandan genocide and has been honored internationally for his heroism. The Foundation works to prevent future genocides and raise awareness of the need for a new truth and reconciliation process in Rwanda and the Great Lakes Region of Africa.Tagged Ban Ki-moon, Child Soldiers, Congo, DRC, Goma, Hotel Rwanda, HRRF, Hrrfoundation, intervention, Kagame, M23, MONUSCO, Paul Kagame, Paul Rusesabagina, Rwanda, Rwandan Genocide, Security Council, United Nations |
Letter From Paul Rusesabagina to President Clinton
This week I wrote to President Clinton because he was visiting my
beloved country to do important work, and I wanted him to go with eyes
wide open. While I am happy to hear that progress is being made, I am
concerned that all Rwandans need to be able to benefit equally and
have their voices heard.
I sent the following letter to him, and I wanted to share it with you today:
Join us to Celebrate Paul’s Birthday on May 31st!
You are cordially invited to join Paul Rusesabagina to celebrate his 58th Birthday!
Paul will be in Chicago on the evening of May 31st to celebrate his birthday, and we hope you can join us. The event will run from 5:30-7:30 pm at 444 N. Wabash, 4th Floor.
This reception is a fund raiser for the foundation, please contribute as generously as you are able. Suggested donations:
Sponsor: $580 — Attendee: $58 — Students: $10-20, or any donation appreciated
Full details are available at: Paul’s Birthday Celebration 2012
Paul to Speak at Hague
Humanitarian Paul Rusesabagina, the real life hero portrayed by Don Cheadle in the movie Hotel Rwanda, will speak on Truth and Reconciliation in Rwanda – The Power of Words to Heal a Nation at the Rk Spiritueel Centrum De Boskant in the Hague on January 29 at 14:00 p.m. The address is Fluwelen Burgwal 45. Tickets are 5 Euros per person, maximum of 120 seats. To reserve a seat call 070 3614180 Tuesday – Friday 12:00 – 16:00 or by email: email@example.com Read more…
“Paul Rusesabagina (Never Again)” by Eric Maring and Greg Heelan
Welcome to the new website for the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation! We’re still migrating all the information from our old home, so please bear with us while we move. Read more…