“Paul Rusesabagina, opposition figure of Rwanda, touches down in Qatar before heading back to the United States”

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Pardoned Friday March 24 and released in stride, the Rwandan opponent Paul Rusesabagina, made famous by the film Rwandan hotels, left Rwandan territory after several days spent in the residence of the Qatari ambassador in Kigali. The Qatari authorities announced on Tuesday March 28 that he landed in the capital Doha on Monday, a first stop before being able to find his relatives in the United States, two and a half years after his arrest by the Rwandan authorities.

With our correspondent in Kigali, Lucie Mouillaud

Paul Rusesabagina has arrived safely in Doha, and is waiting to fly to join his family in the city of Houston in the United States, Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Dr. Majed Al Ansari said during a press conference on Tuesday. . A stopover planned in the discussions between Kigali and Washington which led to the release, last Friday, of the opponent.

Negotiations between the two countries had been facilitated for several months by the emirate of Qatar, a major economic partner of Rwanda, and where President Paul Kagame had also visited a few days before. the announcement of the commutation of Paul Rusesabagina’s sentence and his co-defendants.

The arrest in 2020Then sentencing in September 2021 of the Rwandan-Belgian opponent, a permanent resident in the United States, had been a source of tension for almost two and a half years with Washington, who considered that he was “wrongfully detained”. On Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said ” relieved to know that Paul Rusesabagina would soon join his family.

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