By George Kalisa
Felicien Kabuga was arrested in Paris, France May15. Kabuga is the most wanted perpetrator of the 1994 against the Tutsi during which over one million Tutsis were killed. This man who has been on a run for the last 26 years was the major bankroller of the genocide.
The name Felicien Kabuga is not new in Rwanda and especially in the minds of the survivors of the genocide against the Tutsi. Called “financier of genocide”. Kabuga was an extremely rich businessman who was allied to the family of President Habyarimana through the activities of the famous AKAZU and other platforms such as Réseau Zéro where the genocide against the Tutsi ideology was developed, said IBUKA in a statement.
Kabuga was heavily involved in the founding and bankrolling of Radio Télévision Libre des Milles Collines (RTLM) Kangura and other newspapers which were actively used in mass sensitization and incitement to exterminate the Tutsi.
In 1993, at an RTLM fundraising meeting organized by MRND Felicien Kabuga publicly defined the purpose of RTLM as the defense of Hutu power. During the ICTR’s “media trial”, former presenter of RTLM Georges Ruggiu named Kabuga as the Chairman Director General of the station, with duties as “presiding over” RTLM and “representing RTLM.
From January 1993 to March 1994, a total of more than 500,000 machetes were imported into Rwanda by Kabuga which were used by the militias to exterminate Tutsis. 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 genocide against the Tutsi.
However, it has been 23 years since his indictments were issued but arresting and bringing him before the court of justice to stand trial has been made difficulty by his financial status and other external players who were alleged to create a safe haven for him to evade justice.
Different authorities have tried their best to bring him to justice including the US government that put a five-million-dollar ($5,000,0000) bounty on his head for whoever provides information leading to his arrest.