“A discussion on the development in Rwanda” was the topic set for a seminar arranged by the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation on April 28, 2010. Paul Rusesabagina whose story inspired to the film Hotel Rwanda and Christian Holm, MP, who recently returned from a study trip to Rwanda both participated in the seminar. The seminar turned out to illustrate the difficulties of getting opponents to settle around a negotiation table.
On one hand, it has been claimed that although Rwanda remains one of the world’s poor nations, the country has, in the last fourteen years, undergone a significant positive development in the economic sphere. The Rwandan government has focused on preventing new conflicts between ethnic groups.
On the other hand, it is claimed that despite international assistance and political reforms, Rwanda still has problems respecting human rights. As late as last week, two oppositional newspapers were closed down and government permission is needed in order to found oppositional parties.
Nobody denies the genocide in Rwanda but the country has progressed since then, said Christian Holm. When visiting Rwanda lately, he criticized the closing of oppositional newspapers. Rwandan News Agency quoted: “Swedish Moderate Party lawmaker Christian Holm said it was paramount that as the country prepares for elections, divergent views are allowed to be discussed openly.”
At the Seminar, there was a discussion raised by Rwandans claiming that the view presented in the film Hotel Rwanda doesn’t correspond to reality. Paul Rusesabagina answered that this is a Hollywood movie, and that, although he’s portrayed in it, he was not the person making it.