The West is furious that President Paul Kagame sanctioned an operation to hunt down a Rwandan suspected terrorist in the same manner they go after their own suspected terrorists, including having to wage war against a foreign country and or violate international air space.
Washington and European politicians are exerting pressure on President Kagame and blackmailing him into ordering the release of Paul Rusesabagina who faces nine charges including the creation of a rebel group, membership of a terrorist group, financing terrorism, murder as an act of terrorism, abduction as an act of terrorism and armed robbery as an act of terrorism.
Other charges include arson as an act of terrorism, attempted murder as an act of terrorism, and assault and battery as an act of terrorism.
But the charges are not the concerns of the West. Whether Rusesabagina is guilty or not, for them what matters is, “how did Kagame do it without our knowledge?” Who does he think he is?. Those are the hypothetical questions lingering in the minds of the Western politicians and their diplomats in Rwanda.
The West is up in the arms and using mainstream media and activists to arm-twist Kagame’s government into submission, arguing that Rusesabagina’s arrest was illegal. This is something that Rwanda will not do, at least by explanations Kagame gave CNN’s Richard Quest in an interview last week.
“It was very proper and legal,” Kagame said of Rusesabagina’s arrest in the interview that was aired by CNN on Wednesday hours after Rusesabagina appeared before the High Court Chamber for International and Cross-Border Crimes together with 20 of his co-accused that include rebel leaders who were captured by the Rwandan Special Forces.
“He more or less brought himself,” Kagame told Richard Quest. “Whether he was acting on wrong signals [What the West described as rendition] …but went by those signals to continue doing the wrong things he had been doing in the past,” President Kagame said.
Rusesabagina’s family and his Western sympathizers claim that he was kidnapped from the airport in Dubai, “where he had arrived on an Emirates flight from Chicago” before boarding a private jet headed to Burundi, where he planned to meet deceased President Pierre Nkurunziza and recruits disguised as a plan “to speak to churches at the invitation of a local pastor.”
This, the critics say, is what Rwanda should explain. And Kagame says he is not answerable at all. “If he expected to go to Burundi to connect with the people he has been working with or leading into destabilisation of our country, what sympathies do I owe him or anybody?”, Kagame said without any effort for sustained flattery.
Rusesabagina’s lawyers advised him to denounce his Rwandan nationality, with the hope that the court would be wrestled into debating its legal competence to try him as a Belgian citizen.
The court after hearing his submissions adjourned the case to February 26 to determine whether the hearing should continue or not, despite the prosecution dismissing the argument that him being Belgian does not strip Rwandan courts of the powers to try him, as long as he committed crimes on Rwandan territory.
Meanwhile after blatantly denouncing his citizenship, the 67-year old hotelier born in Ruhanngo district, Southern Province, was not prepared for an incriminating confession by his Deputy Callixte Nsabimana alias Sankara, who told the court that he shame that Rusesabagina denies being Rwandan declared his Presidential ambitions.
“Rusesabagina as our leader had Presidential ambitions. We declared war against Rwanda, then failed and got arrested. I am ashamed as his deputy that he is telling the court that he is not Rwandan,” Sanakara confessed.
All suspects remain in custody pending a substantive hearing.