ICTR takes Kenya to UN over Kabuga saga again

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Thursday reported Kenya again to the United Nations (UN) for non compliance in the arrest of notorious Genocide fugitive, Félicien Kabuga.
Hassan Bubacar Jallow
Hassan Bubacar Jallow

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Thursday reported Kenya again to the United Nations (UN) for non compliance in the arrest of notorious Genocide fugitive, Félicien Kabuga.

The Kenyan government has consistently denied that the fugitive is on its territory but the Arusha-based tribunal has challenged the country to present documented evidence indicating that the fugitive left.

In a report to the UN Security Council in New York, the ICTR Prosecutor, Hassan Bubacar Jallow, said that repeated requests to the Kenyan government for details on Kabuga’s reported departure from Kenya have gone unanswered for the past twelve months.

“I regret to report that there has been no progress in the matter of cooperation by Kenya in relation to the case of Félicien Kabuga,” Jallow said.   

“Repeated requests to the government of Kenya for details of Kabuga’s reported departure from that country have gone unanswered for the past twelve months,” the ICTR Chief Prosecutor added.

“This situation should not be allowed to continue. ”  He added that Kenya should be required to comply with its legal obligations under the UN Charter and international law to comply with its requests.

“In the event that this situation continues, my office will seriously consider the option of initiating the process for a formal referral of Kenya to the Security Council for non cooperation with the ICTR,” he warned.

Jallow was upbeat that with continued mechanisms and cooperation from member states, the remaining eleven fugitives will be apprehended and brought to justice and that this will contribute to pacification of the Great Lakes region.

He said that trial preparations are already in progress in respect to the recently arrested Genocide suspects; Gregoire Ndahimana and Ildephonse Nizeyimana, whose trials are set for next year.

Jallow reiterated that his office is focusing on filing new requests for referrals to Rwanda and that the ICTR will intensify preparations for closure of the tribunal with particular attention to archival and residual issues.

ICTR President, Dennis Byron, said that the tribunal will not have accomplished its mandate if top-level fugitives continue to benefit from impunity while victims wait for justice.

Apart from Kabuga, the other two top three Genocide suspects are Protais Mpiranya, and Augustin Bizimana, the former Minister of Defence.

Mpiranya was the commander of the notorious Presidential Guards (GP). 

Byron said that time for their arrest is long overdue, noting that, the fugitives have benefited from impunity for far too long.

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