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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06KIGALI238 2006-03-13 10:51:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kigali
Cable title:  

FOREIGN MINISTER ON HOTEL RWANDA, HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT AND NEPAD

Tags:   NOTAG RW 
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VZCZCXYZ0036
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLGB #0238 0721051
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 131051Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIGALI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2509
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L KIGALI 000238 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/C AND DRL

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/10/2016
TAGS:
KDEM, PGOV, PHUM, PINR, RW, BG
SUBJECT: FOREIGN MINISTER ON HOTEL RWANDA, HUMAN RIGHTS
REPORT AND NEPAD

REF: KIGALI 228

Classified By: PolOff GLearned. Reason 1.4(d).



1. (C) Summary. In a 9 March meeting with Foreign Minister
Murigande, Ambassador delivered the 2005 Human Rights Report
(HRR), discussed Paul Rusesabagina and inquired about the
NEPAD Peer Review Report. Upon receipt of the HRR, Minister
Murigande was defensive but also appreciative of the
Ambassador's personal delivery. He agreed that the report
should be used as the basis for a robust engagement between
the GOR and Embassy on human rights issues in 2006. Murigande
reaffirmed the GOR's position on 'Hotel Rwanda' manager Paul
Rusesabagina (reftel) is that he is not the hero he claims to
be and genocide survivors are free to voice their negative
opinions about him. Murigande said that the formal release
of the NEPAD Peer Review Report on Rwanda has not yet been
scheduled. End summary.



--------------------------


Human Rights Report


--------------------------




2. (SBU) Murigande said that during his tenure as Foreign
Minister four USG HRRs had been released but this year was
the first year it was delivered to him by the Chief of
Mission. Ambassador Arrietti noted that there would be parts
of the report that the GOR would disagree with but stressed
that it was his intent to use the occasion to further deepen
the dialogue between the GOR and the Embassy. Murigande
agreed, and also stated that the report should reflect the
current situation, not a repeat of the prior years with a
'changed comma or sentence'. He also mentioned the Rodney
King incident as an example of a human rights abuse in the
US. Ambassador Arietti countered the Rodney King case by
pointing out that there was a transparent investigation,
covered by a free press with the prosecution of guilty
individuals. He then explained the drafting process and the
congressionally mandated requirement to track issues and
cases that had been in previous reports. While still somewhat
defensive, Murigande reiterated his appreciation that the
report was delivered in person.



--------------------------


'Hotel Rwanda' Hero


--------------------------




3. (C) Ambassador shifted discussion to Paul Rusesabagina
noting that he was a popular figure in the US and that there
is a perception by some people in Washington that there is a
GOR campaign to discredit him. (Note. Rusesabagina, the
former manager of the Hotel Des Mille Collines in Kigali, is
portrayed as a hero who personally saved over 1,200 potential
victims during the genocide in the movie 'Hotel Rwanda'. End
note). Murigande denied a GOR-organized effort to discredit
Rusesabagina, but said that 'people are saying what they
know' and are 'not happy' that he is receiving undeserving
status and praise. He said that Rusesabagina has been 'made
into something he is not', and that the GOR has every right
to defend itself against critics.



4. (C) Ambassador pointed out that the timing is a problem as
the perception could be that the GOR is just now attacking
Rusesabagina due to his high profile and outspokenness
against the government. Murigande replied that many
survivors have the feeling that Rusesabagina's role was
greatly exaggerated in the film and he asked why, if he were
a great hero, had he not contributed to a genocide survivors
fund.



--------------------------


NEPAD Update


--------------------------




5. (U) When asked for an update on the NEPAD Peer Review
Report, Minister Murigande stated that Rwanda had wanted to
release the report in Addis but agreed to honor a request by
the other Peer Review Nations to wait until the next meeting
in order to respect the process. (Note. The NEPAD Peer Review
Modalities specify that the Report must be formally presented
by the Head of State. Although the Review for Rwanda is
finished, President Kagame did not attend the AU Summit in
Khartoum and President Obasanjo refused to accept the Report
from Prime Minister Makuza. End note.) Murigande noted that
the report had been distributed to the other member states
but the next meeting has not yet been scheduled.
ARIETTI