UN chief welcomes Félicien Kabuga’s arrest
The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on Saturday, May 16, welcomed the arrest of Félicien Kabuga, one of the leading architects of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, his spokesperson said in a statement.
Kabuga, one of the world’s most wanted fugitives was arrested in Paris earlier on the same day, by French authorities as the result of a joint investigation with the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) Office of the Prosecutor.
Guterres said that Kabuga’s arrest “sends a powerful message that those who are alleged to have committed such crimes cannot evade justice and will eventually be held accountable.”
Kabuga, 84, was arrested from a rented home outside Paris, according to IRMCT.
Kabuga is accused of financing the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi which claimed over a million innocent lives.
He allegedly imported vast quantities of machetes that were used in the tragic bloodshed.
Kabuga, according to official documents, was also president of the Comité d’Initiative of Radio Télévision Libre des Milles Collines, whose broadcasts were used by Hutu extremists to incite hatred against Tutsis and identify individuals for subsequent killing.
His arrest culminated a decades-long international hunt across many countries.
“The Secretary-General’s thoughts are first and foremost with the victims of Kabuga’s alleged crimes, the victims of other serious international crimes, and their families. Ending impunity is essential for peace, security, and justice,” Guterres spokesperson said in a statement.
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.
Guterres recalled that all states must cooperate with the mechanism in the location, arrest, detention, surrender, and transfer of the accused persons still at large.
Kabuga was arrested in what was described as a sophisticated, coordinated operation with simultaneous searches across several locations.
Following completion of appropriate procedures under French law, Kabuga is expected to be transferred to Arusha, where he will stand trial, according to IRMCT.
The notorious former businessman is among the prominent architects of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, a majority of whom still pelt in foreign countries.