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Kigali Snubs Belgium Over Jailed Hotelier

Rwanda has called off high-level talks with Belgium, in the latest twist to a diplomatic row over the conviction of the man who inspired a Hollywood film about the 1994 genocide. In a statement, Rwanda said Belgium had shown “contempt” for its justice system after it criticised the 25-year prison sentence handed down to Paul Rusesabagina – a Belgian citizen of Rwandan origin – for terrorism. Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta was due to meet Ms Wilmès on the side-line of the UN General Assembly in New York this week, but the meeting has now been cancelled. Rusesabagina,67, was found guilty on Monday of backing a rebel group involved in deadly attacks in Rwanda in 2018 and 2019. Belgium’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sophie Wilmès said he did not receive “a just and fair trial”. The US, where Mr Rusesabagina’s family lives, also questioned whether he had received a fair trial.