Félicien Kabuga, alleged to be a leading figure in the 1994 Rwanda genocide, was apprehended in Paris by French authorities as a result of a joint investigation with the UN’s International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT).
Félicien Kabuga was indicted by the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 1997 on seven counts of genocide and crimes against humanity.
“Kabuga’s apprehension sends a powerful message that those who are alleged to have committed such crimes cannot evade justice and will eventually be held accountable, even more than a quarter of a century later,” a UN statement said.
Kabuga was the President of the Comité Provisoire of the Fonds de défense nationale (“National Defence Fund”) from about 25 April 1994 to July 1994 and President of the Comité d’Initiative of Radio Television Libre des Milles Collines (“RTLM”) during the time of the crimes for which he was indicted.
He is expected to be transferred to the IRMCT, where he will stand trial.
“For international justice, Kabuga’s arrest demonstrates that we can succeed when we have the international community’s support,” said Serge Brammertz, Chief Prosecutor at the UN mechanism.
“This result is a tribute to the unwavering commitment of the United Nations Security Council, which established the Mechanism to continue the accountability process in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.”
The UN Secretary-General praised the cooperation between the UN mechanism and the French authorities for the arrest, underlining the responsibility of all States to cooperate with the IRMCT in locating and arresting any fugitives at large.