By David Himbara
General Paul Kagame publicly censured Belgium for objecting to the sham trial of Paul Rusesabagina. But Kagame shamefacedly remained silent on an even harsher condemnation of the trial by the US government. Kagame gives a new meaning to the phrase “speaking with a double tongue.”
General Paul Kagame swiftly punished Belgium for criticizing the bogus trial of Paul Rusesabagina who was sentenced to a 25-year prison term after he was subjected to an extraordinary rendition from Dubai to Rwanda in August 2020. Rusesabagina is a Belgian citizen. As a punishment, Kagame dramatically cancelled a bilateral meeting with Belgian leaders scheduled to take place during the 2021 UN General Assembly in New York City. But Kagame has remained sheepishly silent on the US government’s denunciation of the Rusesabagina’s sham trial. The US State Departmentissued the following statement:
“The United States is concerned by the Government of Rwanda’s conviction of U.S. lawful permanent resident Paul Rusesabagina on September 20. The reported lack of fair trial guarantees calls into question the fairness of the verdict. We have consistently highlighted the importance of respect for all applicable legal protections throughout these proceedings and have raised concerns that these protections were not addressed in an impartial manner consistent with Rwanda’s international commitments. We are concerned by the objections Mr. Rusesabagina raised related to his lack of confidential, unimpeded access to his lawyers and relevant case documents and his initial lack of access to counsel. We urge the Government of Rwanda to take steps to examine these shortcomings in Mr. Rusesabagina’s case and establish safeguards to prevent similar outcomes in the future.”
Talk about speaking with a double tongue. To a small power, Belgium, Kagame speaks like a lion. To the big power, the US, the Rwandan strongman dares not to speak. Stay tuned.