Paul Rusesabagina, who saved hundreds of Rwandans during the genocide by sheltering them in the hotel he managed, and saw his story made into the Hollywood film ‘Hotel Rwanda’, has been arrested on terror related offenses, Rwandan authorities announced.
The country’s bureau of Investigation said in a Twitter statement that Rusesabagina was now in their custody after being arrested “through international cooperation.” It did not indicate which country helped them with the arrest.
An international warrant was issued for his arrest and he is currently in police custody in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, said the Rwanda Investigation Bureau.
Rusesabagina, 66, is accused of being the “founder, leader and sponsor of violent, armed, extremist terror outfits,” the agency said.
His supporters, and Rusesabagina himself, have long maintained that he became a target of Paul Kagame’s government after sustained criticism of Kagame’s government and the conduct of the Rwandan Patriotic Front in ending the Genocide in 1994.
Rusesabagina gained prominence during the 1994 Rwandan genocide for saving the lives of hundreds people.
Around 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in the genocide, which was led by Hutu extremists.
At the time, he was a manager at the Milles Collines hotel where he hid and sheltered people in the luxury hotel.
He was the real-life inspiration for the 2004 Hollywood film “Hotel Rwanda,” starring Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo.
Rusesabagina has not lived in Rwanda since 1996 when he survived an assassination attempt.
He is the recipient of several human rights awards for his efforts during the genocide, including the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.