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President Kagame Hints On Softening On Rusesabagina

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Paul Rusesabagina founder of terrorist group the Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD) of which the FLN is the armed wing

President Paul Kagame has revealed that there are ongoing discussions aimed at softening on the Paul Rusesabagina case.

The Rwandan leader made the remarks while speaking via videolink to the ongoing Global Security Forum in Doha saying that “there is work going on” over the case.

“There is discussion, there is looking at all possible ways of resolving the issue without compromising the fundamental aspects of that case. I think there is going to be a way forward,” President Kagame said.

Rusesabagina now aged 68 founded the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD) of which the FLN is the armed wing responsible for various attacks inside Rwanda in 2018 and 2019 that killed dozens of people and destroyed property.

In a 2018 video message, Rusesabagina called for regime change saying that “the time has come for us to use any means possible to bring about change in Rwanda”.

Rusesabagina holds a Belgian citizenship and a US green card. United States claims that Rusesabagina was “wrongfully detained” after a plane carrying him to Burundi delivered him to Rwanda in 2020.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and rights groups have raised the case with Rwanda. President Kagame said last year that the United States could not “bully” him into ordering a release.

Anaise Kanimba daughter of Paul Rusesabagina has appealed for help to secure his release, saying she believes he was abducted from Dubai.

Rusesabagina was arrested under an international warrant for leading “terrorist movements”.

Rusesabagina was arrested in August 2020 after a sophisticated operation to lure him back to Rwanda from exile in the US. He had travelled to Dubai where he boarded a private jet that he believed would take him to a meeting in Burundi but which landed instead in Kigali.

Rusesabagina’s family said he was kidnapped and forcibly taken to Rwanda.

However, in court, one witness spoke about how he had tricked, rather than forced, Rusesabagina on to a plane in Dubai by telling him it was flying to neighbouring Burundi, not Rwanda.

Rusesabagina was found guilty of terrorism, murder, kidnap and arson and was later sentenced to 25 years in prison.

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