Genocide survivors want Kabuga tried in Rwanda

The umbrella organization of Genocide survivors associations, Ibuka, on Saturday, March 16 said that Genocide architect Félicien Kabuga should be tried from Rwanda.

Kabuga was arrested in Paris by French authorities following a joint investigation with the International Residual Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT), Office of the Prosecutor, and other law enforcement and prosecution services from various countries including Rwanda.

 

The businessman, who is now aged 85, has been on the run since August 18, 1994 when the Swiss security services let him slip from their grasp. 

 

He since then reportedly sought refuge in several countries including DR Congo (then Zaire), and Kenya among others.

 

Commenting on the arrest, Ibuka welcomed the move and called for his transfer to Rwanda for trial.

“If there is anything good for survivors, it is to see those who are responsible for more than one million lives lost during the genocide against Tutsi being held accountable for their participation. 

"Getting to know about the arrest of Félicien Kabuga while we are still in 100 days of the 26th commemoration is a heart softening and exciting information that every survivor was looking for,” a statement by the Umbrella reads in parts.

It adds that: “Ibuka, therefore, wishes that Félicien Kabuga could be brought to Rwanda for trial and serving his sentence where he participated in these atrocities.”

The call comes as IRMC earlier noted that Kabuga will be tried from Arusha, Tanzania where the Mechanism is based.

It said: “Following completion of appropriate procedures under French law, Kabuga is expected to be transferred to the custody of the Mechanism, where he will stand trial.”

Kabuga was indicted by the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 1997 on seven counts of genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, attempt to commit genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, persecution, and extermination, all in relation to crimes committed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

He is accused of establishing the hate radio, RTLM, training, and equipping the Interahamwe militia, among others.

While the arrest of Kabuga is a positive development, there are still other Rwandan genocide fugitives who continue to roam freely across the world and many of them have since joined the bandwagon of “opposition politics”, a cover they use to continue evading justice.

On this, Ibuka went on to say that; “There should be continuation of collective efforts and cooperation of national governments and the international community for the arrest of fugitives still hiding in different countries.”

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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