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Row over who will represent detained Hotel Rwanda hero

Samba Cyuzuzo

BBC Great Lakes

Paul Rusesabagina
RIB
Paul Rusesabagina was an opponent of Rwanda's President Paul Kagame

The family of detained Hotel Rwanda hero Paul Rusesabagina is “shocked and outraged that there is a lawyer claiming publicly to represent him”, his foundation has said.

On Saturday, David Rugaza, a member of Rwanda’s Bar Association, held a press conference and said he was “chosen by Rusesabagina to represent him in court”.

“There is no way he would voluntarily hire this lawyer without consulting with his own family first," a statement issued by the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation said.

Rwanda's security agents are holding Mr Rusesabagina - who inspired the Hollywood film, Hotel Rwanda, about the 1994 genocide - on charges of murder and terrorism.

The family believes Mr Rusesabagina, who lived in exile, was abducted from Dubai.

However, Rwanda's President Paul Kagame said on Sunday that Mr Rusesabagina came to the country of his own accord and was then arrested.

A legal team - which included renowned Rwandan lawyer Gatera Gashabana as well as lawyers from the US, Canada, Australia and Belgium - had been set up to represent Mr Rusesabagina, a spokeswoman for the foundation, Kathryne Kurth, said.

“Today [Monday] this team of lawyers is filing a case against Rwanda to the UN on the violations of laws in the arrest of Rusesabagina,” she told the BBC.

On Sunday, Mr Kagame said his government was “fully aware of our responsibilities, of our obligations", and Mr Rusesabagina would be tried "in the open".

Somalis killed and US soldier wounded in bombing

Mary Harper

Africa editor, BBC World Service

Officials in southern Somalia say three members of the Somali special forces have been killed by a car bomb in the village of Jana Abdalla.

A US soldier was seriously injured in the attack about 60km (37 miles) from the port city of Kismayo.

The suicide car bomb exploded outside a military base.

The Islamist group al-Shabab said it carried out the attack. It put the number of casualties as significantly higher, saying 20 people had been killed including US troops.

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