By David Himbara
The Rwandan iron-fisted ruler, General Paul Kagame, finally met his Waterloo, smashed by Paul Rusesabagina’s armies comprised of his family, friends, human rights activists, and American government departments. Once the United States government grouped Rwanda with North Korea, Iran, Russia, Venezuela and Syria as dictatorships that “wrongfully detain” American citizens and permanent residents, it was game over. Unlike North Korea, Iran, Russia, Venezuela and Syria, Rwanda is sustained by foreign aid with the US leading the other donors.
The Kagame regime whose central government expense is funded by foreign aid to the tune of 74.2 percent cannot afford to be officially baptized “the North Korea of Africa.” Further, failure to release Rusesabagina would have meant that Rwanda would be labeled “D”, a new indicator on the US government’s travel advisories that warn American citizens and permanent residents of the risk of wrongful detention by a foreign government. With a “D” ranking, Rwanda’s tourism industry that is largely dependent on conferencing and business meetings would be wiped out.
The Rwandan strongman’s attempt at spinning his defeat into victory by citing Rusesabagina’s promise to leave “Rwandan politics behind” is pitiful. In reality, the so-called promise is an empty bargain for Kagame. The US is not a dictatorship that gags its citizens and permanent residents – freedom of expression is a right to all. Consequently, now that Rusesabagina is back in the US with his family, friends, and activists that fought so hard for his freedom, he is free to relaunch his activism against the Rwandan dictatorship.
In the meantime, Carine Kanimba and her siblings who have battled since August 31, 2020, to free their father are heroes. So are the family friends including
, Amber #Bobin – this is the happy ending Rusesabagina’s family, friends, and human rights activists have been fighting for since August 31, 2020. Stay tuned.