French police have arrested a man accused of funding militias that massacred hundreds of thousands of people in Rwanda 1994 genocide.
The French Justice ministry said police arrested Felicien Kabuga near Paris Saturday after 26 years on the run. The 84-year-old was Rwanda’s most wanted man and one of the last primary suspects in the 1994 slaughter of some 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus by Hutu extremists.
Kabuga, once one of Rwanda’s wealthiest men, was indicted in 1997 on a charge of genocide and six other criminal counts, according to an international tribunal established by the United Nations.
Authorities said Kabuga was living under a false identity in Asnieres-Sur-Seine, north of Paris, with the aid of his children. Kabuga, a Hutu businessman who had a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head, allegedly funded the purchases of large quantities of machetes and agricultural tools that were used as weapons during the genocide, a U.N. news website said.
The Justice ministry said Kabuga will appear before the Paris appeal court before being brought in front of the international court in The Hague.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “Mr. 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.”
International justice authorities are still pursuing Rwandan genocide suspects Augustin Bizimana and Protais Mpiranya.