According to Linda Melvern of The Guardian (U.K)there is much to doubt about Rusesabagina’s claims to heroism. His claims simply do not add up, hence the conclusion that when all is said and done, one man alone could not have saved so many people as depicted in the movie HOTEL RWANDA, and as Rusesabagina unashamedly claims.
Simply put, here is why;
1.In the midst of the genocide, the hotel became a bit of a problem for the interim government which had been hastily sworn into office after the targeted elimination of it’s political opponents. Several high profile people were sheltered in the hotel, and as such it became the focus of western international press attention.
2. Jean Kambanda, Prime Minister of the interim government received a telegram from the US government asking for protection for the people sheltering there. So, not to attract international attention, those in the hotel were spared.
3. Among the residents of the hotel were The Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and U.N. Peacekeepers. Attacking the hotel and it’s residents would have exposed the extremists.
4. At the end of April, an agreement was reached between the interim government and the Mayor of Kigali, Col. Tharcisse Renzaho, to avoid, for the time being,massacres in or near the capital.
5. All the cheques Rusesabagina received were cashed in Gitarama where the interim government had set up camp. (What a coincidence!)
6. Before Rusesabagina fled Hotel Diplomate for dear life to go to Hotel Mille Collines, he was socializing with, and setting up a reception for the interim government swearing-in ceremony on April 8, 1994. By this date, there were already hundreds of people at Hotel Mille Collines.
7. Gen. Romeo Dallaire had ordered his men to maintain a presence at the entrance to the hotel and not allow any militia to enter. It is reported that Ruseabagina went to extreme measures to have the U.N. Peacekeepers removed.
8. The UN headquarters received information that Rusesabagina had provided a Rwanda army commander with a list of hotel guests and their room numbers. (UN observers managed to change the room numbers of those most threatened.)
I say, based on the foregoing, Ruseabagina’s claims of heroism are a fabrication, and an outrage. But, are the folks at The Lantos Foundation listening, or willing to entertain this compelling evidence?