The suspect in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, Felicien Kabuga, was arrested on Saturday near Paris after 26 years on the run, the French justice ministry said.
The 84-year-old businessman had a $5 million US bounty on his head. The ministry added that he was living under a false identity in Asnieres-Sur-Seine.
Rwanda’s two main ethnic groups are the Hutus and Tutsis, who fought a civil war in the early 1990s. Kabuga is accused of funding militias that massacred about 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and their moderate Hutu allies over a span of 100 days in 1994.
He also established a radio station that fanned ethnic hatred against Rwanda’s Tutsis. He told Hutus where Tutsis were to be found and offered advice on how to kill them.
The United Nation’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda indicted Kabuga in 1997 on charges related to conspiracy to commit genocide, persecution and extermination.
“The arrest of Felicien Kabuga today is a reminder that those responsible for genocide can be brought to account, even twenty-six years after their crimes”, the IRMCT’s Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz said, adding that the arrest was the result of cooperation between law enforcement agencies in France and other countries including the US, Rwanda, Belgium, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and others.
Kabuga is expected to be transferred to the custody of the UN mechanism, where he will stand trial. It is based at The Hague.