‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero and jailed opponent of President Kagame to fly to Doha then US

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Paul Rusesabagina, the jailed opponent of Rwanda’s president whose story inspired the “Hotel Rwanda” movie, will fly to Doha and then go on to the United States after his expected release, the Qatari government said Friday.

The announcement of the 68-year-old Rusesabagina’s release came only one day after Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame left Doha where he had held talks.

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Qatari foreign ministry spokesperson Majid al-Ansari said Rwanda had confirmed that Rusesabagina would be freed but did not say when.

“The procedure for his transfer to the state of Qatar is under way; and he will then head to the United States of America,” the spokesperson said.

“Qatar’s facilitation role, reflects the mutual trust and strong relations between the State of Qatar and partners in Rwanda and the United States.”

The case was discussed when Kagame was in Doha this week for talks with senior officials, said a source with knowledge of the negotiations.

Talks on a potential release started at the end of 2022 and a breakthrough came last week in discussions between Kagame and the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the source said.

Qatar has close ties with Rwanda and Kagame is a frequent visitor to Doha.

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